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Explanation of purl.org/commons/ URIs

This is a work in progress.

Science Commons began exploring URI minting and resolution issues when we realized that in order to generate orderly and durable RDF, we would have to invent URIs for many things that don't currently have adequate URIs, such as records in public bioinformatics databases.

The web architecture says to use stable URIs, make them resolve, use different URIs for different things, and use 303's for non-information-resources. We are doing our best to implement structure this faithfully - it's not easy.

These URIs are still experimental; they are used in the Neurocommons KB (including the sources used in the IWWWC 2007 HCLS demonstration) and are meant to stir up discussion. Please don't depend on their stability right now, but do help with efforts that will lead to the creation of stable and attractive URIs.

http://purl.org/commons/record/...
Databank records, considered abstractly, without commitment to a particular representation. Particular representations include but are not limited XML, ASN, and RDF.
http://purl.org/commons/html/...
HTML renditions of databank records.
http://purl.org/commons/xml/...
XML renditions of databank records, using a predictable format (e.g. DTD or schema); documentation pending.
http://purl.org/commons/record/pmid/...
PubMed records (not the articles themselves). Example:
http://purl.org/commons/record/pmid/16228203
http://purl.org/commons/article/pmid/...
Journal articles (not their metadata records), each identified using the PubMed id of a PubMed record that describes it. Example:
http://purl.org/commons/article/pmid/16228203
Articles may have other URIs as well. This one can be identified by info:doi/10.1007/s00253-005-0186-4, but unfortunately info: URIs are not unresolvable by most browsers.
http://purl.org/commons/record/ncbi_gene/
Entrez Gene records (not the genes themselves).
http://purl.org/commons/record/ncbi_gene/1003064
http://purl.org/commons/record/mesh/...
MeSH records for descriptors and qualifiers. (I'm not sure, but I suspect we may be mistakenly using these URIs to identify the corresponding SKOS concepts, which would be wrong.)
http://purl.org/commons/record/mesh/D013065
http://purl.org/commons/record/mesh/DxxxxxxQyyyyyyy
This are misnamed, since they're not really records. They are subject headings (SKOS 'concepts') that are qualified versions of particular descriptors (i.e., descriptor/qualifier pairs).
Science Commons URIs
http://purl.org/science/owl/sciencecommons/
Classes and properties belonging to the ad hoc Science Commons ontology. Most of these are not information resources.
http://purl.org/science/owl/sciencecommons/record
http://purl.org/science/owl/mesh/...
Classes and properties belonging to the MeSH ontology (from the ESWC06 paper)

Why /commons/ vs. /science/?

The /commons/ URIs are meant to be administered under community control, should that ever be seen to be necessary. (Currently they are controlled by Science Commons.) Although they are not currently connected with any independent entity, a promise to transfer control, sooner or later, may be seen to be desirable in order to promote widespread adoption.

The /science/ URIs are meant to be vetted and administered by Science Commons or an organization it designates. These should refer to resources provided by Science Commons or defined idiosyncratically by Science Commons.

We have tried to place URIs in the correct namespace as appropriate, but have probably made a few mistakes.

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