Persistent Identification of Instruments


Group details

Secretariat Liaison: 
Lynn Yarmey
TAB Liaison: 
Larry Lannom
Not yet endorsed

The Persistent Identification of Instruments Group seeks to explore a community-driven solution for globally unique identification of active instruments in the sciences.


Instruments, such as sensors used in environmental science, DNA sequencers used in life sciences or laboratory engines used for medical domains, are widespread in most fields of applied sciences. The ability to link an active instrument (instance) with an instrument type and with the broader context in which the instrument operates (including generated data, other instruments and platforms, people and manufacturers, etc.) is critical, especially for automated processing of such contextual information and for the interpretation of generated data.


The identification and description of instrument models and instances is gaining momentum. Several disciplines are using established controlled vocabularies (standardised terms) to identify devices. Advances in Semantic Sensor Web technologies (encodings of sensor descriptions that are machine-readable and interoperable) have resulted in new instrument metadata schemas. Some Persistent Identifiers (PIDs), such as Universally Unique Identifiers (UUIDs) or Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are already being utilised.


Our group aims to build on these developments and establish a cross-discipline, operational solution for the unique and lasting identification of active devices.



  • Explore the use of a globally unique solution to persistently identify active devices
  • Recommend a metadata profile to describe active devices that harmonises existing identification standards and complements existing metadata schemas
  • Explore methodology/technology to register and resolve the new PID
  • Operationalise the solution, engaging instrument developers and manufacturers in the process


Relationship to other RDA interest and working groups

  • PID IG
  • Data Versioning WG
  • Data Fabric IG

Recent Activity

20 Feb 2018

[FYI] Fwd: RDA TAB Approval - Persistent Identification of Instruments WG

Good news!
Cheers, m.
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Yarmey, Lynn Rees <***@***.***>
Date: Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 01:17
Subject: RDA TAB Approval - Persistent Identification of Instruments WG
To: markus.stocker <***@***.***>, ***@***.*** <
***@***.***>, ***@***.*** <***@***.***>,
***@***.*** <***@***.***>
Cc: Andrew Treloar <***@***.***>, Francoise Genova <

02 Feb 2018

Next Call February 6, 2 pm CET (1 pm UTC): Planning P11 session

We will have our next call on Tuesday, February 6, at 2 pm CET (1 pm UTC).
The main aim of the call is to start preparing the P11 session.
Call notes here:
Cheers, m.

02 Feb 2018

P11 Session Accepted!

Good news. Stay tuned for info regarding the call next week, Tuesday 1-2
UTC (apologies to our Australian colleagues). Also, a quick reminder about
the doodle poll regarding the regular meeting: Wednesday seems to be the winner
so far. To accommodate the Americas, we will need to discuss having
separate calls.
Cheers, m.
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Timea Biro <***@***.***>

29 Jan 2018

PIDINST Conference Calls

Dear all,
Hope you started 2018 well. January is gone and it is time to get back to
our conference calls. For a couple of reasons, we need to renegotiate the
day and time. I have created a doodle poll here:
This poll is for the regular day and time. Time is fixed to 9-10 am UTC.
This is to make it possible for our Australian colleagues to join.
Next week will be an exception since I can only make it on Tuesday

12 Jan 2018

Splinter session: Requirements for sensor and instruments metadata and persistent identifiers Fwd: EGU2018 - splinter meeting request

Dear all,
thank you very much for your positive feedback! I have now reserved a room
at the EGU for Wednesday afternoon: 15:30-17:00.
Feel free to circulate this information within your projects and
communities. We have a room for about about 30 people..
best regards,
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: EGU2018 @ Copernicus Meetings <***@***.***>
Date: Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 7:50 AM
Subject: RE: EGU2018 - splinter meeting request

10 Jan 2018

Re: [marine-swe-profiles] [pid-instruments] Splinter Meeting at EGU 2018

I unfortunately can not be EGU. Thanks to Lou for participating as PIDIns :-) RDA group. Is it possible to have a facility to participate remotely?
PhD Ecology
CNR - Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment (IREA)
Via Bassini 15 (entrance Via Alfonso Corti 12) - I-20133
Milano - Italy

10 Jan 2018

Splinter Meeting at EGU 2018

Dear all,
there still are rooms available at the EGU 2018 to organize a joint "Sensor
and instruments metadata and identifiers' splinter session. We would have
1.5 hrs to discuss these issues. But we would have to be quick. If you like
the idea, please give me a quick notice and I would try to reserve a room
best regards,
Dr. Robert Huber,
MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences

27 Dec 2017

PIDINST WG Case Statement Published: Ready for Review

on behalf of the (prospective) PIDINST WG, I like to inform you that we
have published the Case Statement. The document can be found here [1], most
importantly the attachment [2]. Please inform us on next steps regarding
the review.
Best regards,
Markus Stocker (on behalf of the co-chairs Louise Darroch, Alessandro
Oggioni, Andrew Janke and the PIDINST WG)

15 Dec 2017

Next Call December 18, 2 pm CET (1 pm UTC): Clear remaining issues re: Case Statement

We will have our next call on Monday, December 18, at 2 pm CET (1 pm UTC).
Final call before the Case Statement and P11 Session Proposal deadline on
December 28. We will discuss any remaining issues and tasks on the Case
Statement. I will try to get some writing done by Monday.
You can find the document here: