Resolving Names Into Things

About N2T.net

The N2T.net (Name-to-Thing) resolver is a server that specializes in keeping public identifiers stable by redirecting web requests to the most appropriate locations. N2T stores redirection and descriptive information (metadata) for individual identifiers and, when it doesn't know about a particular identifier, relies on stored information relevant to the kind of identifier it is.

The primary audience for N2T services is the global community of people engaged in research, academic, and cultural heritage endeavors. Together with our primary partner, EZID, we work with national and university libraries, academic and society publishers, natural history and art museums, as well as companies and funders that support education and research. N2T identifiers are used for everything from citing scholarly works to referencing tissue samples. They link to cutting edge scientific datasets, historic botanists, evolving semantic web term definitions, and living people.

N2T.net is unusual among resolvers because it stores individual identifiers of more than one kind, including both ARKs and DOIs. As such it provides equal services to all identifiers, regardless of origin. For example, it supports ARK-style inflections for DOIs and DataCite DOI metadata via content negotiation for ARKs.

N2T is currently maintained at the California Digital Library (CDL) within the University of California (UC) Office of the President. CDL supports electronic library services for ten UC campuses and a dozen law schools, medical centers, and national labs, as well as hundreds of museums, herbaria, botanical gardens, etc. Recognizing the important global role that the resolver plays, we are actively seeking to establish broad and sustainable community ownership of N2T's technological, administrative, and policy infrastructure.