There are several organizational identifiers in the scholarly communications market. Some are used to identify funders, some are used only for author affiliations, some are used in library cataloguing, and others are used for a much wider remit covering all media scenarios.

Ringgold Solutions provides an authoritative organization data set including a persistent identifier (PID) that supports a wide array of use cases within scholarly communications. CCC’s Ringgold Identify Database covers all of the organizations that a scholarly publisher may have a relationship with including:

  • Institutions that have signed Open Access agreements to understand author affiliations and funder information when creating, negotiating, and managing those deals in depth. We also include “read” organisations that don’t publish content, but need access to it and associated services, whether corporate, community college or governmental.
  • Pre-undergrad organisations for publishers with content for newer readers.
  • Small corporations that only publish one article – ever – so they can submit their article with an affiliation.

In essence, Ringgold Solutions cover any type of organization where a stakeholder, such as a publisher, funder, institution, or service provider may have an interaction with organizations for access, authorship, funding, customer service, and/or financial transaction – that’s the point, a complete view of organizations involved in the funding, creation and consumption of scholarly research.

Real World, Granular Hierarchies Support Unique Use Cases

The Ringgold Identify Database hierarchies are robust, granular, and reflect the real-world relationships between different entities. When properly structured, these hierarchies are straightforward to navigate and can be rolled up or down to determine relationships at parent and children levels. Ringgold structures multiple parents’ data in the Ringgold Identify Database user interface and data implementations, to make it easy to support requirements for different use cases (e.g. whether an organization should be included or excluded in institutional agreements and reporting).

When using such a detailed and structured database, it is important to know that there are policies in place and the curators are data management experts. Robust centralized curation creates uniformity, consistency, and reliability. Here at CCC we believe in data quality and utility. That’s why we capture any organization or sub-unit of an organization irrespective of whether it is independently funded or managed, that itself exists to sponsor, produce, or utilize research. We present real world organization data and metadata so clients have the flexibility to apply the Ringgold Data for different use cases.

Powering a Robust Network of Interoperable Systems

Ringgold Solutions supports and enables interoperability across the scholarly ecosystem. The Ringgold Identify Database holds ISNI IDs , an open, ISO standard that enables broader interoperability, for over 99.6% of our data. We hold Funder IDs to enable easy identification of relevant funder information Ringgold Identify Database maps to ISNI and Funder IDs one to one, because we believe that persistent IDs are designed to uniquely identify an organization.

Ringgold Solutions in Action: Inspec, the Institution of Engineering and Technology

The level of granularity of Ringgold data is essential to support author affiliation information. Authors want to be recognized for where they are affiliated, not just by institution but by part of institution. For an author, it’s important if your groundbreaking research came from a research institute or lab, and to retain that distinction. We see this from the IET’s Inspec analytics product which maps granular affiliation information from over 22 million records and groups together articles in very granular fields to enable users to find those organizations with strengths in specific disciplines making it possible to find new research partners – powered by Ringgold Identify Database. Looking for Key Opinion Leaders involves this level of detail. Furthermore, without granularity, accurately identifying conflicts of interest is next to impossible. In datasets that do not include subunits or do not include them consistently, it is very difficult to tell whether a person at one organization is in any way related to another by their affiliation.

Ringgold Solutions – Proven. Trusted.

When Ringgold started 20 years ago, we learned that you need to dig deeper to address real world complexity. Use cases evolve, they grow, and in a community needing data driven decisions – Ringgold Solutions accommodates the growing use cases for the future of our scholarly communications ecosystem with data that is detailed, robust, and trustworthy – that’s what sets us apart.

Keep reading Approaches for Understanding Data Quality in Ringgold Identify Database.

Learn more about IET Inspec uses the Ringgold Identify Database data to standardize and enhance organizational data.


Author: Laura Cox

Laura leads CCC’s Ringgold data operations and business product management. Subsequent to the acquisition of Ringgold by CCC she has a broader remit of providing leadership in product offerings and operational excellence related to data, with a particular focus on scholarly publishing. She remains active in Ringgold’s outward facing activities. She sits on the ISNI Board and on steering committees in the scholarly communications environment. She was a publishing consultant for ten years, working with a variety of international clients including publishers, intermediaries and trade associations. Laura has extensive experience in strategic decision making, consultancy, data analysis, and management. She created the Consortium Directory Online which was acquired by Ringgold, along with her consulting business, in September 2011, and led Ringgold when it was acquired by CCC in 2022. 
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