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In 2018 the California Digital Library (CDL) and DuraSpace announced a collaboration aimed at building an open, international community around Archival Resource Keys (ARKs) and their use as persistent identifiers in the open scholarly ecosystem.

Over 550 institutions (research, not-for-profit, private, government) across the world have registered to use ARKs.  They’ve created an estimated 175 million ARKs with publicly resolvable links to objects (digital, physical, people, places, etc).

Since 2001, CDL has served as the incubator for ARK infrastructure, consisting primarily of the specification, a registry of organizations using ARKs, and a global resolver service. Now, to achieve long-term sustainability, the ARK infrastructure must emerge from CDL and mature in partnership with multiple organizations and community participants to guide its future.

To jumpstart the process, CDL sought a collaboration with DuraSpace, an independent not-for-profit organization providing leadership for open technologies and communities such as Fedora, DSpace, and VIVO. With DuraSpace’s help, the ARK outreach efforts will include:

  • Assembling and consulting with an ARK advisory group,

  • Developing procedures for shared maintenance of the organizational registry,

  • Consulting with the wider ARK community on requirements, priorities and models for shared community and infrastructure management,

  • Guiding the ARK specification through the IETF Informational RFC process, as well as,

  • Participating in an initiative to gauge the scope of ARK usage world-wide.

These activities are just a start, but they are important first steps. To become involved, please fill out our Expression of Interest form. If you’d like to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in this project, please see the Project Communications page on this wiki or connect with us at one of our Events


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