ARK Alliance

Home of the Archival Resource Key (ARK)

ARKs added to new version of the PID Guide

It is not always easy for organizations to understand and choose an appropriate Persistent Identifier (PID) system. PIDs such as ARKs, DOIs, Handles, and URNs can come with subtle tradeoffs that depend on each organization’s needs.

Screen shot of first questions of the PID guide.

The PID Guide helps you learn and think about important PID topics, and guides your first steps towards selecting a PID system.

Thus the PID Guide at was created as a free, interactive service to help people learn and think about important PID topics, and to guide their first steps in selecting a PID system. The digital preservation team of the National Archives of the Netherlands maintains the guide, and in April 2023 we were pleased to announce a new version, which now includes ARK, DataCite DOI, Handle System and URN:NBN.

The PID Guide was originally created by the Dutch Digital Heritage Network (DDHN). In developing the new version, we are grateful for the help of colleagues from the ARK Alliance, TU Delft Library (DataCite Netherlands), SURF, KB national library, DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services) and DDHN.

The term “PID-wijzer” is a nod to “stemwijzer”, a sort of Dutch voting compass, and the term “wijzer” is a Dutch word (which sounds a bit like “visor”) meaning one who points, directs, or indicates. Although intended for Dutch heritage organizations, the service may be useful to organizations all over the world. On the other hand, because our hosted instance is tailored to the Dutch situation, there is also a PID Guide Toolkit, which can be used to create independent instances of the interactive guide adapted to different contexts and use cases.

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