Briefings in Bioinformatics 5.1:59-70. Published: 2004.02.29
Clark T., Martin S., Liefeld T.Read Manuscript
The World-Wide Web provides a globally distributed communication framework that is essential for almost all scientific collaboration, including bioinformatics. However, several limits and inadequacies have become apparent, one of which is the inability to programmatically identify locally named objects that may be widely distributed over the network. This shortcoming limits our ability to integrate multiple knowledgebases, each of which gives partial information of a shared domain, as is commonly seen in bioinformatics. The Life Science Identifier (LSID) and LSID Resolution System (LSRS) provide simple and elegant solutions to this problem, based on the extension of existing internet technologies. LSID and LSRS are consistent with next-generation semantic web and semantic grid approaches. This article describes the syntax, operations, infrastructure compatibility considerations, use cases and potential future applications of LSID and LSRS. We see the adoption of these methods as important steps toward simpler, more elegant and more reliable integration of the world's biological knowledgebases, and as facilitating stronger global collaboration in biology.