This guide is a collection of rules and tips to work with PURLs. If you maintain PURLs for your project, we expect you to be familiar with those. Note that as we don’t manage the PURL server (rather this is done by OCLC), we don’t have access to the software/database to correct things. The PURL support mailing-list is available at

You should be familiar with the OBO ID Policy


  • Never EVER delete (i.e., tombstone as it is called on the interface) a purl - there is no way to undelete them, so if you have an issue please consult with the group before taking further action
  • Always add the OBO group as maintainer/writer when you create a PURL
  • Create a PURL user group which will be the manager of all the PURLs you create - this will prevent issues when you are not available, and allows you to plan for the future (when/if you leave your project, or somebody new joins)
  • People need to be members of the group to have PURL update right - being maintainer is not enough
  • If you want to update an existing record, first do a search for it, and then click the little paper/pencil icon to modify it so that preexisting information is automatically filled in (otherwise you will lose all of it)
  • Don’t use a password you’d mind a hacker seeing
  • Don’t forget your password. In fact you may as well write it down somewhere obvious. The PURL interface doesn’t provide any way to retrieve a forgotten password, and as per caveat above we don’t have access to the infrastructure.