A Beginner’s Guide to Persistent Identifiers


The guide covers the practice of issuing and maintaining Persistent Identifiers for primary biodiversity data from a beginner's perspective. It also includes information explaining the costs and benefits of implementing Persistent Identifiers.
It was commissioned by the GBIF Secretariat in response to the recommendations of the LSID GUID Task Group, convened with the objective to explore the issues and offer recommendations on the way forward that will enable GBIF to provide architecture leadership and best practices for the implementation of Persistent Identifiers.


This guide is intended to cover the essential principles of Persistent Identifiers and demonstrate the requirements to start issuing and delivering Persistent Identifiers for biodiversity informatics datasets. The guide is aimed at the Persistent Identifier novice, highlighting pitfalls and suggesting useful tips to get up and running with identifiers. There is an assumption that standard best-practice data management principles have been followed regarding any applicable dataset.


Richards, K., White, R., Nicolson, N. & Pyle, R.


GBIF Secretariat


This document is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.

Rights holder



GBIF (2011). A Beginner’s Guide to Persistent Identifiers, version 1.0. Released on 9 February 2011. Authors Kevin Richards, Richard White, Nicola Nicolson, Richard Pyle, Copenhagen: Global Biodiversity Information Facility, 33 pp, accessible online at http://www.gbif.org/document/80575. ISBN: 87-92020-14-3