I stumbled upon the Digital Object Identifier system, and I feel like I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole into some sort of parallel universe. It’s an elaborate scheme for “identifying and exchanging intellectual property in the digital environment”. There are RFCs, an extensive handbook, and an active organization.
The idea seems to be a URN implementation. For example, the handbook is doi:10.1000/186, though browsers don’t recognize the doi: URI scheme, so there’s a web implementation: http://dx.doi.org/10.1000/186. It reminds me of tinyurl.com, though to solve a different problem.
Is this going to be a real thing to know about, or is it one of those Library Science specialties that doesn’t much get out into the real world?