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About Us
Our vision is a world where publishers, institutions, agents, aggregators and vendors within scholarly communications are able to exchange information effectively, for the benefit of all.

History of Ringgold and Institutional Identification

The Ringgold Number (RIN) was first conceived and implemented in 2003. Ringgold developed the RIN as a key part of the solution to a problem posed by Oxford University Press: How can institutional subscribers be properly identified? It was quickly realized that many scholarly publishers faced the same challenge of accurately and uniquely identifying institutional subscribers. The Ringgold Identify Database was developed as a tool to solve this problem and help publishers establish a foundation for healthy data.

Ringgold Inc. (USA) and Ringgold Ltd. (UK) were established in 2005 upon acquiring the technical and production resources needed to support an initiative as ambitious as Identify. Now, after more than a decade of continued development and widespread industry adoption, Ringgold’s Identify has become the most complete authoritative source of institutional data relevant to the scholarly supply chain.

Unique identifiers like the RIN work best when the underlying data is clean; that is, well structured, free of duplicates, and complete to a certain standard. While doing the work to populate the Identify database, Ringgold developed data services to help publishers clean up existing data and establish best practices for ongoing data governance. In 2012 a major investment was made in helping publishers create and disseminate good quality publication-level metadata - ProtoView was developed as a simple solution for publishers to ensure that content was being properly described and that information used effectively to promote discovery.

Ringgold's databases and data services were created with the publisher's needs in mind. We believe a publisher's data is the basis of better understanding an increasingly complex customer base, navigate the wider marketplace and connect more effectively with partners thereby allowing everyone to make informed strategic decisions. The unique Ringgold Number (RIN) and clean data provided by our services can be applied enterprise-wide. The metadata created by ProtoView contributes to the online presence of published works and improves discovery throughout the life of publication. Our goal is to provide broad support to publishers to get the most out of their enterprise data and systems.

In January 2006, Ringgold joined forces with the British Library, Swets, HighWire Press, Rockefeller University Press, and Oxford University Press in a pilot project to apply its institutional identifiers to all participants' related subscribing institutions located in the UK.  The project was an attempt to study correlation and duplication of institutions among the participants.  The two important goals were to improve the electronic supply of journals by identifying institutions as digital licensing units and to do so within a standards-based paradigm.

One outcome of the project was agreement to push for NISO to support creation of a formal standard and, thereby, the eventual creation of the I2 Study Group within NISO. By early 2011, NISO and ISNI agreed that the activities of the NISO I2 Standard Identifiers workgroup would be subsumed under the ISNI standard.

In 2012, Ringgold became the first contracted ISNI registration agency for institutions, click here for further details. Ringgold acquired Book News Inc in July 2012 and following this a new product ProtoView was launched in 2013. After detailed research and customer consultation we recently published our new subject taxonomy, which has been accepted by by COUNTER for the Journal Usage Factor.

Ringgold Today

From the initial project with OUP, Ringgold has worked with more than 60 scholarly publishers, aggregators and intermediaries in the ensuing years to grow and develop the Identify database. It now exceeds 370,000 uniquely identified institutional entities worldwide.

Following Ringgold's acquisition of Book News Inc in July 2012, we have integrated the two companies.  
Ringgold has four Directors and 18 members of staff. Ringgold's staff are augmented by a team of 40 international researchers, who build the Identify database and audit clients' data. The creation and maintenance of database records requires both country knowledge and language skill, encompassing 40 different languages, ensuring that, for example, records for Chinese and Japanese subscribing organizations are processed by personnel with these respective language skills, cultural awareness, and understanding of the local library and information landscape.

Association Membership

Ringgold is proud to be a member of the following industry organizations:
- Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, ALPSP

- International Committee on EDI for Serials, ICEDIS
- National Information Standards Organization, NISO
- International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers, STM
- United Kingdom Serials Group, UKSG

Our senior staff are involved in the following committees and working groups in the industry:
ICEDIS - Phil Nicolson
ALPSP Professional Development Committee - Laura Cox
UKSG Marketing Committee - Laura Cox
Association of Subscription Agents Board - Don Chvatal  


Ringgold Management
Ringgold Management Team, 2011

President Don Chvatal &
VP Sales & Marketing Jay Henry
talk on camera at Frankfurt Book Fair, 2012

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