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Identify Database

Identify is a database of over
390,000 institutions and consortia worldwide
that buy scholarly, academic, and online content.


Researched and authenticated by our international team of experts
Updated daily
Growing annually by 25%

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 Identify Database was developed as a tool to solve this problem and help publishers establish a foundation for healthy data.

The universe of institutions from a publisher's point of view
Identify helps you to understand and explore the market for academic and scholarly content like no other single resource.
  • Over 390,000 institutional records
  • Organized hierarchically – a definitive institutional “family tree” for each organization
  • Each institution is assigned a unique Ringgold Identifier
  • Classification system: including subject specialties, industry sector, and pricing tier data
  • Accurate FTE and personnel counts

Authoritative: Each institutional record has been meticulously researched by our international team of 40 experts. Located around the globe, our researchers speak more than 35 different languages, and have detailed knowledge of their region and the infrastructure of institutions in the particular countries where they hold expertise. 

Richly Detailed: Identify records bring together metadata including size, location, URLs, standard classification schemes, and consortium membership - and combines it with Ringgold's own unique Institutional Identifiers, Tiers, and Types. Together, this provides an enhanced view of each institution, making market analysis and prospect identification possible.

Organized Hierarchically: By mapping each institution's record to the organization's larger structural hierarchy, Identify displays a definitive family tree. See the relationship between academic departments, university campuses, and university systems; government entities; or complex corporate and healthcare structures.

Identify search
Multiple layers of search functionality allow users to find exactly what they are looking for, searching by:

- Keyword

- Location: city, state, country, post/zip code

- Ringgold Type

- Tier: JISC Bands, Carnegie classifications, Ringgold Tiers, Shop for Journal Tiers

- Filter for consortia only or consortium members only

Explore the Market

Clients of Ringgold's Auditing Service may also compare their customers to the larger market, by having Ringgold host their audited customer files, utilising the database internally.

* Match your customers against the database and eliminate duplicate accounts
* See both customers and non-customers in any Identify search, including consortia holdings
* Filter searches by product
* Generate gap analysis and market penetration reports, identify your true prospects


Ringgold's Auditing Service enables clients to benefit in the following way:

* Disambiguation of your customer accounts. Utilising the unique Ringgold institutional identifier, duplicate accounts and holdings are easily identified, and consolidated

* Multi-faceted profiling of your customer base. Auditing returns metadata specific to each institutional record including location, type, tiers, size and other associated metadata. From the files Ringgold supplies, clients analyse their subscriber base in terms of industry sector, geographic region, and more

 * Accurately manage your renewals: Audits ensure that renewals and non-renewals are accurately identified. Run more effective renewal campaigns by concentrating only on true lapses or cancellations.

Click the image to download this month's infographics


Validate enables Ringgold's Identify customers to obtain Ringgold IDs for institutions which are not currently held in the Identify database with immediate effect.
The advantages are numerous; are you able to obtain a new Ringgold number for addition into multiple internal system and to use that number to link systems together. Use cases include:

* Entry of a new customer, for ordering and fulfilment for both online and print products
* Entry of a new author affiliatioin, for submission systems
* Entry of a new prospective customer, for CRM databases

How Validate Works 

Users search for an institution, either in the Identify Online interface, MasterVision or your internal systems; if it does not appear to be in Identify, you can add that institution and immediately obtain a unique Ringgold number.

Ringgold's staff and researchers manually check all entries made in the Validate system. The next working day you will receive a report of the accepted and rejected records, with any associated corrections. The daily report also includes cumulative counts for the records entered for the current month and year-to-date.

All provisional Ringgold numbers which were supplied via Validate, but found to be duplicates or rejected entries, are officially recorded and deleted forever. Ringgold does not recycle Identifiers.

Future Development

Validate currently operates within Ringgold's internal Production System, using an interface similar to that being used by our own researchers. We intend to move the service to the Identify Online system once the new interface has been developed, with plans to make Validate avaialble to customers in this manner in the near future.


Take a Product Tour, read Case Studies from our valued clients, or Contact Us to arrange a demonstration

And take a look at our Spotlight On... feature, which showcases our international researcher expertise.

Search the database of over 370,000 institutions


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