MIRIAM Registry and Identifiers.org - Robust and versatile identification in life sciences
MIRIAM Registry (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/miriam) provides unique, perennial and location-independent identifiers for data used in the biomedical domain. At its core is a shared catalogue of data collections, for each of which an individual namespace is created, and extensive metadata recorded. This namespace allows the generation of Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) to uniquely identify any record in a collection. Moreover, various services are provided to facilitate the creation and resolution of the identifiers. Since its launch in 2005, the system has evolved in terms of the structure of the identifiers provided, the software infrastructure, the number of data collections recorded, as well as the scope of the Registry itself. We describe here the new parallel identification scheme and the updated supporting software infrastructure. We also introduce the new Identifiers.org service (http://identifiers.org) that is built upon the information stored in the Registry and which provides directly resolvable identifiers, in the form of Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). The flexibility of the identification scheme and resolving system allows its use in many different fields, where unambiguous and perennial identification of data entities are necessary.
Nicolas Le Novère is group leader at the EMBL-EBI near Cambridge (UK). Besides his research activity, centred on modeling signal transduction in neurons, Le Novère develops community services that facilitate research in computational systems biology. In particular, he is coordinating efforts in encoding and annotating kinetic models in chemistry and cellular biology, including the languages SBML, SBGN, SED-ML, the reporting guidelines MIRIAM and MIASE, and the ontologies SBO, KiSAO and TEDDY. Le Novère also created BioModels Database, now the reference resource to share published mathematical models of biological interest.