Customer Bulletin Autumn 2020

Welcome to Ringgold’s Autumn Bulletin! After a somber summer, we are happy to share some positive news – Ringgold welcomes nine new clients, explain what we mean by ‘Clean Data’, and are ready for an active, albeit virtual, Frankfurt Book Fair. We’ve released improvements to the Ringgold Data Services technical stack, and we’re quietly working on many more.

The challenges of recent months have elevated the importance of academic research, and the contributions made by everyone throughout the scholarly communications community. Ringgold is proud to support the efforts of those who create, review, and publish the intellectual output of the world’s best and brightest. We look forward to continuing our work, and doing our part to build an infrastructure that facilitates the efficient exchange of ideas.

Ringgold Data Services is honored to serve the following new clients

  • American Mathematical Society
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Data Axle Inc
  • IFIS Publishing
  • Jisc Services Ltd
  • MIT Press
  • Nuffield Foundation
  • PLOS

What does Ringgold mean by “Clean Data”?

Ringgold has used the phrase, “Clean Data. Confident Decisions.” for over a decade. We have often referred to ‘data cleansing’ and ‘cleaning data’, but what does that really mean? Presumably, there is messy data… and there is. Regardless of the category of dataset (e.g. subscribers, members, clients, et al) the errors in systems trend toward two major types- inaccuracies and duplication.

These errors develop quite naturally, and are usually magnified with the age of any given dataset. In a wider view, datasets suffer from more than just errors. Even well maintained datasets remain disconnected from the wider world. Siloed.

The good news is, data can always be cleaned up. In fact, the solution is a force multiplier: to create unique records and map them to an authority file.

Ringgold’s analysis and pre-processing of data is the first step in creating matches between ‘messy’ records, and our authority file of organizations, the Identify Database. A process which also links your records to an ISNI, the only ISO recognized standard identifier for organizations. Traditionally, we have used the term “audit” to describe a multi-phase process which includes: analysis, conversion, cleansing, searching, reporting/export. You’ll notice that third term, “cleansing”… that’s the deduplication + machine match. 

First, we normalize the data structure, then deduplicate, then match to a Ringgold ID. The source data remains ‘untouched’ while every matched record is linked to the metadata maintained by Ringgold. If we are unable to find a match for a particular client’s record in the Ringgold database, we create a new one; Ringgold is a registration agent for ISNI, so any new records get that identifier as well. This is important to ensure every record is consistently identified and conforms with the rest of the dataset.

So, does this process “clean” the data? Yes. Ringgold’s process of ‘cleaning data’ includes unique identification of records which are then matched to an authority file. This is essentially the current accepted definition of ‘data cleansing’ among information professionals.

The “force multiplier” phrase used earlier refers to gaining insight beyond your own data. Once matched to Ringgold, datasets enjoy clean structure and expanded metadata. Additionally, they are interoperable with the entirety of Ringgold’s database of organizations, making it easy to find new organizations of interest.

Digital Frankfurt Book Fair 2020

We are sorry that we can’t meet with you in person this year but the Ringgold team is excited to meet with you virtually during this year’s Digital Frankfurt Book Fair.

Register for our Frankfurt virtual event on Wednesday, October 14 where Beth Hoskins will walk through Ringgold’s data online and mention practical use cases. A Q&A session will be available after her presentation, and we’re always happy to follow up later with more detailed inquiries:

Ringgold InfoSeries

We are working to keep our clients and those interested in Ringgold informed about what we do, and how we do it. While there are many resources available on our website, we are actively producing new content to help explain Ringgold Data Services, and explore solutions that reduce complexity. Check out our latest InfoSeries video about the Ringgold database at:

We’ll be releasing new videos regularly – October’s edition will focus on Persistent Identifiers, how they work, and why they are important. If there are any topics you would like us to consider, please drop us a message at or reach out to @RinggoldInc on Twitter or LinkedIn.

SOAP API retiring

In an ironic twist, Ringgold has eliminated SOAP as part of our continuing effort to provide clean data to our clients. The SOAP API service for the Identify Database has been officially retired. Support information for the Identify Database REST API service can be found on our Customer Support site:

International Open Access Week – October 19-25, 2020

Ringgold extends our thanks to SPARC for organizing and sponsoring Open Access Week! Many of our customers are using Ringgold’s services to help to structure their author and customer data in preparation for transformative agreement negotiation. Check out Ringgold’s Whitepaper about Transformative Agreements:

We’re constantly working in the background to enhance our services for you

The Identify Database of organizations has now surpassed 535,000 records. Ringgold’s team of experienced data researchers are constantly updating and adding new records to the Identify Database. We have recently reviewed the hierarchies of the Ringgold IDs 4019 University of Hull and ID 2717 Cranfield University, based on feedback provided by both universities. We are also cooperating with Norway’s UiT Norges arktiske universitet to review their organization records.

In other news, Ringgold ID 5229 University of Wisconsin System has merged its community colleges with its universities, turning the previously independent colleges into additional university campuses. We have updated the whole university system to reflect these structural changes, as well as made tier changes and added new student and staff numbers. Other university hierarchies revisited by us over the last months include:

  • Ringgold ID 17334 Michigan State University
  • Ringgold ID 3710 McMaster University
  • RInggold ID 10060 Aarhus University
  • Ringgold ID 58789 Medical University of Sofia
  • Ringgold ID 104710 Uznyj federal’nyj universitet

For the corporate sector, ID 84102 Hitachi Chemical Co Ltd was acquired by Showa Denko Co Ltd in October 2020 and is now named Showa Denko Materials Co Ltd. We have updated our hierarchy to reflect the change. Other corporate hierarchies reviewed by us recently have included ID 1529 Hoffmann La Roche, ID 3774 Pierre Fabre SA and ID 17334 Kindred Healthcare LLC.

Customer Support

Our Customer Support website is available 24/7 at Find detailed help and user guides for all of our products and services. Or you can contact us directly: