Manage Your Data and Drive Success

The Ringgold Identifier was implemented as a key solution in a project undertaken with a major scholarly publisher seeking best practices for the identification and disambiguation of institutional subscribers. It has become one of the most ubiquitous and accepted identifiers in play, used by publishers and intermediaries to uniquely identify each customer and accurately connect their records across all parts of their organization.

Publishers and intermediaries now typically ingest data from multiple sources and house it in separate silos. Without unique identifiers, connecting that data becomes inefficient, and the resulting reports are not authoritative. Connecting all customer data from across your entire enterprise can inform decisions about your interactions with customers and provide information with which you can drive your business. This is the role of the Ringgold ID; to provide you with standardized information, allowing you to connect records effectively.

The Ringgold Identifier is a unique numerical identifier applied to institutions in the scholarly supply chain.

Some examples:

RIN 9144      Ruprecht Karls Universitat Heidelberg; Germany
RIN 7891      Heidelberg University, Ohio USA 
RIN 5072      Wellcome Trust 
RIN 42506    Petrobras – Petroleo Brasileiro SA 
RIN 1737      EBSCO Industries Inc. 
RIN 396788  African American Civil War Memorial and Museum 
 
These also show the complexity of institution names, which can easily lead to confusion within a database. We assign a Ringgold ID to each institution when we create its Identify Database record. We include institutions which are part of the scholarly supply chain - licensees, publishers, intermediaries, and funders – as well as those which license and create scholarly content - universities, hospitals, corporations, and government entities. Ringgold IDs are applied in numerical order, that is, the order in which the Identify Record was created. Currently they’re between 4 and 6 digits long.
 

A simple way to manage the complex world of institutions

Unique identifiers provide two major benefits which cannot be achieved via other methods of standardization:
 

They Enforce Uniqueness

Many institutions have similar or even identical names. Northeastern University or Northeastern University? Both might subscribe to your journals, but one is in Boston Massachusetts (RIN 1848) and the other in Shenyang, China (RIN 12434). Even with a normalized name, you – and your data systems – might have trouble telling these two apart if they are not connected to a unique identifier, causing confusion in reports, customer service, and other areas both internally and external to the organization. 
 
Conversely, many institutions are known by more than one name, any of which might appear in your data: Tokyo Ika Daigaku could be listed as an author’s affiliation. By using Ringgold ID 13112 you can easily understand that it’s the same Tokyo Medical University which is found among your subscriber listings. (Ringgold has researchers in 35 countries, who are experts in the world’s languages, to ensure our information is accurate.)
 

Enable Linking of Data

Publishers typically have multiple internal data systems in which information about the same institution is likely to reside: fulfillment, authentication, financial, editorial, and more. By using unique numerical identifiers, a single data element can be used to join these records definitively, regardless of how the name of the institution is rendered. 
 
How can you apply Ringgold Identifiers to your records? Check out our case studies or contact us for more information.