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What is an ISNI?

The International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) is an ISO standard (ISO 27729) that identifies public identities of individuals and organizations. The ISNI is not intended to provide direct access to comprehensive information about a "Public Identity" - instead, it is designed to act as a 'bridge identifier' to link systems where comprehensive information is held, such as Ringgold’s Identify Database.

ISNI is an open identifier in that it may be freely shared with any other person or party without restriction. In this way, ISNI provides a 'bridge' between any public or proprietary dataset where the ISNI has been incorporated. An ISNI number consists of 16 numerical digits. Example: 1234 1234 1234 1234.

For more information about ISNI and the ISNI International Authority, please visit http://www.isni.org/

Ringgold: an ISNI Registration Agency for institutions

Ringgold became the first ISNI Registration Agency for institutions in May 2012 and has participated in the standardization of institutional identifiers since 2005. Ringgold has been working with ISNI over the last three years to improve and standardize the assignment of ISNI numbers for organizations. Ringgold is now pleased to be able to release ISNIs to all Identify customers and to the general public.

The Identify Database now includes over 400,000 ISNI numbers for organizations, representing 99.9% coverage. As new records are added to Identify, Ringgold will obtain new ISNI numbers from the ISNI Assignment Agency automatically.

How to find the ISNI number for your organization

If you hold a licence for the Identify Database, or are an Identify Audit Service customer, then you will see a field against each institutional record that includes the ISNI number for that record.

If you are not a Ringgold customer but would like to find the ISNI number for an organisation then you can look this up for free at http://isni.ringgold.com/.  Ringgold has released this free service to provide open access to the ISNI Identifiers and data for organizations. This includes: 

  • An API to obtain and resolve existing ISNIs for organizations
  • A complete dataset download of ISNIs, organization names, locations, alternate names, and URLs
  • A free online look-up service to search and obtain ISNI records

We hope this will facilitate the use of ISNI for Organizations throughout our community as an open bridge identifier across a myriad of use cases.

For more information and access to the free service please see: http://isni.ringgold.com/

Alternatively, you can search for the organization on the ISNI website http://www.isni.org/search

If you can’t find the ISNI number for your organization

If you need to register a new ISNI for your organization, please get in touch with us at isni@ringgold.com. As a registration agency, Ringgold can provide your organization or institution with a properly registered ISNI number. A per-record charge will be made for this service.

If you need to register an ISNI for an entity which is not an organization, please contact the ISNI-US registration agency for assistance http://isni-us.com/.

Contact us

If you have any questions about this service please contact us at isni@ringgold.com.