Persistent URIs for Australian government: the Australian Government Linked Data Working Group’s governance and management of

Mr Nicholas Car1, Dr Simon Cox3, Mr Ben Leighton2

1CSIRO, Dutton Park, Australia

2CSIRO, Clayton, Australia

3CSIRO Land and Water


The Australian Government Linked Data Working Group (AGLDWG, is a group consisting of Australian government agency representatives interested in Linked Data (LD). Recognising that one of the foundational aspects of operational LD is the provision and maintenance of persistent HTTP URIs (PIDs), the AGLDWG has run both an operational PID redirection service and established some governance procedures for URI allocation.

In the first quarter of 2018, several AGLDWG government agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding between them, as represented through the AGLDWG, and Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) as the agency tasked with maintaining the Australian government’s data catalogue and data space at, seeking to ensure consultative governance for the subdomain This was the first, but certainly not the last, step in shoring up strong governance of a domain for LD PIDs.

The AGLDWG has now proposed a governance and technical maintenance regime for PID allocation and maintenance that builds on the group’s past 4 year’s management experience of PIDs and PID management regimes elsewhere, such as those implemented within agencies like Geoscience Australia & CSIRO and internet organisations such as the W3C and the Internet Archive. This regime is designed to scale and be maintained for 25 year (the life of the current oldest digital PIDs).

In this presentation we will give background to the AGLDWG’s PID regime, detail the new regime and discuss challenges.


Simon has been researching standards for publication and transfer of earth and environmental science data since the emergence of the world wide web. Starting in geophysics and mineral exploration, he has engaged with most areas of environmental science, including water resources, marine data, meteorology, soil, ecology and biodiversity. He is principal- or co-author of a number of international standards, including Geography Markup Language, and Observations & Measurements, that have been broadly adopted in Australia and Internationally. The value of these is in enabling data from multiple origins and disciplines to be combined more effectively, which is essential in tackling most contemporary problems in science and society. His current work focuses on aligning science information with the semantic web technologies and linked open data principles, and the formalization, publication and maintenance of controlled vocabularies and similar reference data.


AeRO is the industry association focused on eResearch in Australasia. We play a critical coordination role for our members, who are actively transforming research via Information Technology. Organisations join AeRO to advance their own capabilities and services, to collaborate and to network with peers. AeRO believes researchers and the sector significantly benefit from greater communication, coordination and sharing among the increasingly different and evolving service providers.

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