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IDCC11 Workshop: Domain names and persistence

Call for participation

Sponsored by the World Wide Web Consortium and the Digital Curation Centre
8 December 2011, IDCC11, Bristol
The workshop programme is now available.

1. Background

The vulnerability of any digital material to unexpected or unintended changes in Internet domain name assignment, and hence to the outcome of domain name resolution, is widely recognised. The fact that domain names are not permanently assigned is regularly cited as one of the main reasons why http: URIs cannot be regarded as persistent identifiers over the long term.

However, the claim that http: URIs are considered inadequately persistent is belied by widespread reliance on them in digital material that will undoubtedly persist, such as technical standards and research articles. As this practice continues - and it certainly will - it will become increasingly important as a matter of clarity, trust, and integrity to align Web governance, which currently specifies potential impermanence for domain name assignments, with practice. Either it needs to be brought about that at least some domain name assignments are universally recognised as persistent, and hence at least that vulnerability to http: URI persistence removed for URIs using them, or a credible alternative must be supplied. But attempts to establish permanent actionable URIs outside of the http: URI scheme have met with little success. It is therefore necessary to investigate the prospects for universal recognition of at least some permanent domain names.

This problem is particularly pressing for at least at least two constituencies in addition to the archival and curation community:

This workshop is intended to bring together interested parties to explore the dimensions of the problem and possible directions in which to look for solutions.

2. Workshop topics

We invite presentations on any subject relevant to the problem of domain name persistence, including, but not limited to

Both regulatory and technical aspects of the problem are in scope

3. Registration and Cost

80 GBP for the full day, check IDCC11 Workshops page for details and link to registration page. Note that you do not have to pay for IDCC11 itself to attend the workshop!

Online registration is now closed. Please send email to ht at inf.ed.ac.uk if you would like to attend and we'll see if that's still possible.