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Reference interval service

When publishing statistics it is important to be able to reference the interval of time to which a particular statistic applies. This is important for individual entries in a statistical data set as well as for any metadata description that bounds the temporal scope of a dataset.

In order to align statistical information that relates to notionally the same year, quarter, month, week, day etc. it is useful to be able to give URI to these intervals so that common references can be made. This is what the Harrison server which powers the reference interval service does.

Harrison provides sets of URI for naming calendar aligned intervals with durations of one: year; half-year; quarter; month; week; day; hour; min or second. It implements a British calendar, incorporating the switch from the Julian to Gregorian calendars that took place between 2nd and 14th September 1752; a Gregorian calendar including arbitrary instants and intervals on the Gregorian time-line; and a modern UK government calendar that follows the government financial year beginning on 1st April each year. Each interval or instant is backed with reference data such as neighbouring and contained intervals and ordinal values for day-of-week, week-of-year and so forth.

A more detailed account of the URI patterns used and the reference data provided can be found here

The reference interval service provides a spine of URIs and reference data which are being increasingly used to anchor the temporal aspects of statistical data publications in the URI space of the web.