- Uniform Resource Names (URNs) are intended to serve as persistent, location-independent, universal resource identifiers (URIs).
- URNs have been formalized in the RFC 2141 and are also addressed in the RFC 3986 URI Syntax specification.
Today, most popular URNs are probably DOIs (stable URIs used by publishers of scientific articles).
Here are a few URN examples (frankly, I don't understand why the "urn" is needed here - Daniel K. Schneider):
URNs vs. URLs
As everybody knows, URLs change all the time. Web pages move and CMS/Databases are reorganized. Some of the information won't be dead but it will be moved to other places. If information is important (e.g. identification of a scientific article, URN resolvers may be able to find it again).
Example of a URI in both URL and URI form (from RFC 3986):
http://example.com:8042/over/there?name=ferret#nose \_/ \______________/\_________/ \_________/ \__/ | | | | | scheme authority path query fragment | _____________________|__ / \ / \ urn:example:animal:ferret:nose
- Related standards
- RFC 3986 URI Syntax
- RFC 1738 - URL Syntax
- RFC 2288 - Using Existing Bibliographic Identifiers as Uniform Resource Names
- Introductory articles
- Dan Connolly (2005). Untangle URIs, URLs, and URNs, Naming and the problem of persistence, IBM developerWorks article, HTML