By 2001 there were four major persistent identifier (PID) types, so why was it necessary to create a fifth? The origin story of the fifth type, the Archival Resource Key (ARK), is adapted from this interview in 2021.
“Archival Resource Keys (ARKs) serve as persistent identifiers, or stable, trusted references for information objects. Among other things, they aim to be web addresses (URLs) that don’t return 404 Page Not Found errors. The ARK Alliance is an open global community supporting the ARK infrastructure on behalf of research and scholarship.
End users, especially researchers, rely on ARKs for long term access to the global scientific and cultural record. Since 2001 some 8.2 billion ARKs have been created by over 780 organizations — libraries, data centers, archives, museums, publishers, government agencies, and vendors.
ARKs are open, mainstream, non-paywalled, decentralized persistent identifiers that you can start creating in under 48 hours. They identify anything digital, physical, or abstract….”