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Why introduce a party identifier?

Currently researchers and research organisations publicise their data collections and other research outputs using varying forms of name. As a result it is difficult to discover all research outputs produced by a researcher or research organisation and to see their profile.

The ARDC Party Infrastructure Project is an Australian National Data Service (ANDS) funded project being carried out by the National Library of Australia (NLA) to develop the party infrastructure in the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) to help resolve this situation.

The assignment of identifiers to records about researchers' public personas will enable a more coherent view of research data collections in the ARDC and their relationship to other parties. Party identifiers will also enable acknowledgement of those who contribute to the data commons and assist with reporting by ensuring that the right creator is assigned to the work or data they produce and/or own, and so they can unambiguously identify the subject of a work. Looking forward, the infrastructure will be important in enabling aggregations, mashups and linkages within the ARDC.

What information will be displayed in a party record?

The party identifier identifies only the public persona of a person or organisation. It links to data that has already been made public and to information about publications by or about the party. Information that is not in the public domain will not be linked to a party identifier by the ARDC Party Infrastructure Project

What sort of details will be collected/held about a party?

Party records are intended to be a central record of the public information about researchers and research organisations. All information linked to the party identifier is already in the public domain.

Organisations using the party infrastructure may wish to associate non-public identifiers and information about the party records they manage with a party identifier in their local systems but as a fundamental principle non-public party information should not be made available on the Australian Research Data Commons.

Why not use another party identifier such as a health identifier number, or medicare number?

These numbers are linked to sensitive personal information that is not intended to be in the public domain. As well, these identifiers are not persistent, and may be assigned to more than one individual, which makes them unsuitable for persistently and unambiguously identifying people and organisations. The National Library of Australia's party information is only public domain information about parties that contribute to public discourse, scholarly communication, scientific investigations, or are the subject of such activities.

Do the party identifiers only refer to people?

The identifiers and the information they are linked to, refer to people but also to organisations, for example CSIRO is identified using this record: http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-458251. No other type of identifier infrastructure does this. Nor do other approaches allow for these entities to be referred to by a persistent identifier that will remain the same in perpetuity.

Will everyone have an identity record?

No, not every person and organisation will have an identity record. It is only for people and organisations that have published works, including datasets, or have had works published about them.

Can a party have more than one identifier?

A party can and does have more than one identifier (e.g. scopus ID, ResearcherID).. Rather than issuing yet another identifier for each person or organisation, the party infrastructure works as an identity resolution service. That is, it enables an NLA persistent identifier to be issued for each party under which all of the other identifiers for that party (as provided in records from contributors to the party infrastructure) can be grouped.

What will the identifiers be used for?

The party identifiers are used to persistently link to information that provides researchers with a view of profile information, associated people and organisations, and linked resources in a single place. The identifiers will be important in enabling aggregations, mashups and linkages using the resources in the Australian Research Data Commons. This will also enable acknowledgment of those who contribute to the data commons.

When will the party identifiers be in use?

Party records are being used now, and the new persistent party identifiers are being assigned by the National Library. For example, the party identifier for the feminist and activist, Maybanke Anderson, is http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-466159 and for 'Darwin's bulldog' Thomas Huxley see http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-869246.For examples from the research sector, see the links under early implementers on this wiki.

How can I see what information is shown in a party record?

Full party records can be viewed by visiting the National Library of Australia's Trove website at http://trove.nla.gov.au/people or by searching the machine-to-machine interfaces described on the Party Infrastructure APIs page.

Who is responsible for managing party records and persistent identifiers?

The party infrastructure and persistent identifiers are managed by the National Library of Australia. Research organisations are responsible for managing their party records internally and for contributing all or some of these records to the party infrastructure. The ARDC Party Infrastructure Project will build tools and that will allow organisations in the research sector to manage the associations between their party records and persistent identifiers.

Can I remove or change information about me that is incorrect or that I would rather not have displayed?

If you have issues with a particular party record in the ARDC Party Infrastructure the best course of action is to contact the organisation that contributed the record. Any additions or alterations made by them will flow through to the National Library through its incremental harvesting of data from contributors.

It is worth noting that if information has been made available publicly in the past it is possible that it will persist on the internet until all records are updated from the contributor and from the National Library's systems.

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