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Persistent Identifiers: ARK

What is ARK?

Archival Resource Keys (ARKs) serve as persistent identifiers, or stable, trusted references for information objects. Among other things, they aim to be web addresses (URLs) that don’t return 404 Page Not Found errors. The ARK Alliance is an open global community supporting the ARK infrastructure on behalf of research and scholarship.

End users, especially researchers, rely on ARKs for long term access to the global scientific and cultural record. Since 2001 some 8.2 billion ARKs have been created by over 1000 organizations — libraries, data centers, archives, museums, publishers, government agencies, and vendors.

ARKs are open, mainstream, non-paywalled, decentralized persistent identifiers that you can start creating in under 48 hours. They identify anything digital, physical, or abstract.

Are they different to DOIs?

Are ARKS different to DOIs?

ARKs are similar to DOIs, URNs, and Handles. All of them

  • were introduced over 20 years ago,
  • exist in large numbers (8.2 billion ARKs, 240 million DOIs, etc.),
  • start with a string to identify the name assigning authority,
  • require the active updating of URL redirects, and
  • support research and scholarship, appearing in the Data Citation Index, Wikipedia, profiles, etc.

Who is creating ARKs?

Since 2001 over 1000 organizations across the world registered to assign ARKs.

The registry includes national and university libraries and archives, art museums, natural history museums, publishers, data centers, government agencies, vendors, and research labs. 

What ARKs are being assigned to (February 2023):