About ARKs

Archival Resource Key (ARK) identifiers are URLs that support long-term access to information. Learn what you need to know about ARKs, whether you’re planning how your repository or system will use them, or you’re a developer building ARK tools.

   \________________/ \__/ \___/ \______/ \____________/
     (replaceable)     |     |      |       Qualifier
          |       ARK Label  |      |    (NMA-supported)
          |                  |      |
Name Mapping Authority       |    Name (NAA-assigned)
         (NMA)               |
                  Name Assigning Authority Number (NAAN)

ARK anatomy at a glance. You can spot an ARK by its internal label.

Recommended for all users

ARK overview

  • What ARKs are and why you would use them
  • Identifiers and Persistent Identifiers
  • Resolvers
  • ARK structure
  • How people are using ARKs
  • Persistence means persistent management

ARK Systems

  • Name Assigning Authority Number (NAAN) Registry
  • Nice Opaque Identifier (Noid) Systems
  • N2T and Global Resolvers

ARK Features

  • Shoulders (local namespaces)
  • Suffix pass-through
  • Metadata
  • Inflections: Metadata and Policy Statement
  • Deleting ARKS 

Comparison: ARKs, DOIs and other identifier systems

  • Reasons to use ARKs as compared to DOIs
  • What ARK, DOI, Handle, PURL, and URN have in common
  • How ARKs differ from identifiers like DOIs, Handles, PURLs, and URNs
  • Using multiple identifier systems
  • When to use ARKs compared to DOIs, Handles, PURLs, or URNs

Getting Started: What to plan for as you implement ARKs

  • Get a Name Assigning Authority Number (NAAN)
  • Choose (or Build) an ARK System
  • Decide whether to use the N2T global resolver (not yet drafted)
  • Decide what ARK features you need (not yet drafted)

 Recommended for developers

The following in-depth information will be useful if you’re extending your own local repository or system with Noid software to support ARKs, or if you’re developing an ARK system.

ARK rules and syntax

  • ARK name strings: recommendation
  • Content negotiation & inflections

Concepts and Background

  • Opaqueness

Name mapping authority

More about shoulders: ARK namespaces and sub-namespaces

More about the N2T Global Resolver