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January 12, 2004 | At the heart of the LSID is a uniform resource name (URN) that specifies a common way to access life science data through the Web by uniquely identifying data resources. If widely adopted, URNs would help enable interoperability between various informatics applications. A URN contains as many as five elements, including:


LSID Designator: A mandatory preface that notes that the item being identified is a life science-specific resource

Authority Identifier: An Internet domain owned by the organization that assigns an LSID to a resource

Namespace Identifier: The name of the resource (e.g., a database) chosen by the assigning organization

Object Identifier: The unique name of an item (e.g., a gene name or a publication tracking number) as defined within the context of a given database

Revision Identifier: An optional parameter to keep track of different versions of the same item


A PubMed article:

The first version of the 1AFT protein in the Protein Data Bank:

The second version of an entry in GenBank:

Back to LSID: An Informatics Lifesaver 

For reprints and/or copyright permission, please contact Terry Manning, 781.972.1349.