The bollockschain and other PID hallucinations
Every couple of years somebody in the suggests that we could replace existing persistent identifiers (e.g. DOIs, ORCIDs, etc) with some new technology that would fix some of the weaknesses of the current systems. Usually said person is unhappy that current systems like DOI, Handle, Ark, perma.cc, ORCID, etc. depend largely on a social element to update the pointers between the identifier and the current location of the resource being identified. It just seems manifestly old-fashioned and
... ridiculous that we should still depend on bags of meat to keep our digital linking infrastructure from falling apart. And it seems positively antediluvian that so much of this PID infrastructure is managed by a few centralised organizations. Wouldn't it be great if we could create a "Scholarly Technology Universal PID?"In the past, at least one of us has threatened to stab himself in the eyeball if he was forced to have the discussion again. But the dirty little secret is that we play this game ourselves. After all, the best thing a mission-driven membership organisation could do for its members would be to fulfil its mission and put itself out of business. If we could come up with a technical fix that didn't require the social component and centralised management, it would save our members a lot of money and effort. In this talk we proposed a framework that can be used when exploring new technology options for PID services. This framework, amongst other things, help to clarify exactly what is meant by notoriously slippery words like "distributed", "risk", "trust" and "ownership" and how they are used in different domains and for different applications. We will look specifically at so-called "blockhain" technologies and see how these terms are used and how they apply specifically in the context of PID systems for scholarly communication.