Vol. 13 No. 1 (2022): The Bibliographic Control in the Digital Ecosystem

How to build an «Identifiers’ policy»: the BnF use case

Vincent Boulet
Bibliothèque nationale de France

Published 2022-01-13


  • Identifiers,
  • ISNI,
  • BnF

How to Cite

Boulet, Vincent. 2022. “How to Build an «Identifiers’ policy»: The BnF Use Case”. JLIS.It 13 (1):177-84. https://doi.org/10.4403/jlis.it-12768.


Identifiers are at the crossroads of two interconnected, major evolutions which heavily impact national libraries: the massification of dataflow, redrawing the place libraries occupy within the global and national data ecosystem in a shared environment, and the strategic shift towards entity management underlying behind the new professional practices and standards. Based on the experience and maturation libraries are gaining in this field, the time maybe has come to formalize them and to highlight the impressive strike force libraries could have in a highly competitive landscape. This is the aim the Bibliothèque nationale de France is trying to reach by publishing an identifiers’ policy. It comes as the last part of a triptych after the new cataloguing policy (2016, including the indexing policy published in 2017) and the quality policy (2019). This identifiers’ policy is intended to clarify why and on what grounds a national library could, more or less, get involved in a given identifier, taking into account the diversity of scope, governance structure and business model of identifiers, be they international (for instance: ISNI, ISSN, ARK) or local (for instance: the BnF proper identifiers). Therefore, the identifiers’ policy highlights why it is necessary to use permanent, trustworthy identifiers and to what extent they are helpful in the daily working and quality control processes led by cataloguers. This is why the identifiers’ policy is not limited to principles, but has a very concrete dimension, both for internal and external issues.


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