Naming & Access Management News

See more News

Overview: Naming & Access Management

What is the Name Resolution Service (NRS)?
Who can use NRS?
How are persistent identifiers created?


What is the Name Resolution Service (NRS)?

The Name Resolution Service (NRS) is a Harvard Library service for creating, maintaining, and resolving persistent identifiers. Also called names or URNs, persistent identifiers are location-independent names for network-accessible resources. Name resolution is the process of converting a persistent identifier into the URL to the resource. If a resource moves or its access method changes, the mapping between the resource’s persistent identifier and URL is updated; but the persistent identifier remains unchanged and valid. Persistent identifiers provide curators and researchers with confidence that the URL they cite will always work.

The NRS is comprised of two separate services:

  1. An Oracle-based administrative service that manages the metadata necessary to perform naming services; and
  2. An HTTP-based resolution service that performs naming resolution.

For more information, see NRS Frequently Asked Questions.

Who can use NRS?

Any Harvard organization is eligible to use NRS. Consult How to participate for more information. See the NRS Status page for a list of active authority paths and names of local NRS administrators.

How are persistent identifiers created?

The process of creating a persistent identifier is also known as "naming" a digital resource. The majority of persistent identifiers are created for digital objects at the point of batch deposit to the Digital Repository (DRS). Objects already stored in the DRS can be named by using the DRS Web Admin interface. And NRS has its own Web Admin interface that supports naming of objects inside or outside of DRS. See Creating Persistent Identifiers (in the NRS User Guide) for more information.