Glossary of terms used in Identify Online

See also Identify Database Editorial Policy
See also: Identify Database Metadata Elements


Academic Classification Metadata – see Identify Academic Classifications.

Activity Status – Operational status of the organization; Active, Dormant, Ceased.

Admin Area Level – State, region, country, civility, province, etc, standardized by Ringgold Places.

Advanced Search – This page has power. You can search against a wide range of fields available in Ringgold’s Identify Database, including our specialized Academic Classification Metadata. If your Datasets are hosted, you can also search any data we hold on your behalf, and save your search to review later or be used in a dataset.

Alternate Name – Former names, abbreviations, acronyms, AKA’s, common names, English translations if record is non-English. There are several forms of alternate name. Click here for the full list.

Carnegie Data – The classification of colleges and universities by the Carnegie Classifications of Institutions of Higher Education at Indiana University to recognize and describe institutional diversity in US.

City – location of the organization; the postal city not street address, standardized by Ringgold Places.

Country – Location of the organization, provided as the ISO3166 2 digit country code. See Countries & Ringgold Regions for full list.

DatasetA query (search) against the Identify Database and hosted customer data.

Economic Model – Economic aim, legal status of the organization; for-profit or non-profit.

Governance – The way the organization is managed, by whom and for whom.

Identify Academic Classifications – Ringgold’s new classification system with expanded descriptive metadata. The nine new areas of classification are: Economic Model, Governance, Reach, Mission, Ringgold Subjects, Self-Description, Fixed Hierarchy Level, Activity Status, Number of Sites. Currently applied to Ringgold Type ‘Academic’ sector records only. See Identify Academic Classifications – an explanation for more information.

Identify Database – Contains uniquely identified organizations, each institution or part thereof is assigned a Ringgold Identifier. The organizational records provide extensive additional metadata and are mapped into their respective hierarchies and provide relationships with other organizations. The database includes any identifiable organization, and its component parts that have an interest in scholarly communications, including as consumers, creators, funders, or intermediaries in the scholarly supply chain.

Identify Database Metadata Elements – All descriptive parts of metadata within an Identify Record.

Identify Hierarchy – The Identify Database is organized hierarchically and based on the ownership structure of an institution. Each individual entity’s record is, where appropriate, mapped to the organization’s larger structural hierarchy; a ‘family tree’.

Identify Online – The online interface for accessing Ringgold’s Identify Database.

Identify Record – A single organization record in the Identify Database made up of Identify Metadata.

ISNI –  International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) is a 16-digit ISO standard (ISO 27729) that identifies public identities of individuals and organizations. More about Ringgold and ISNI numbers here.

Level – Place of organization in the fixed facet hierarchy; nine Ringgold levels.

Mission – What the organization is trying to achieve and what its purpose is.

Name – The legal name of the organization in its native language (where appropriate) or transliteration to Latin characters. See Countries & Ringgold Regions for a list of languages used for each country.

Notes – Free text notes in an Identify Record. Can contain information about mergers, closures, etc.

OFR IDOpen Funder Registry identifier (CrossRef), a common taxonomy of over 21,000 funding body names.

OpenAthens ID – Athens identifier, see

Post code – Postal code or zip code part of the mailing address of the organization in the format used in each country.

Reach – The geographical scope of the organization in terms of its locations and services to its audience and customers.

Region – Ringgold’s grouping of countries used for Identify Online, click here for the full list of countries grouped by region.

Ringgold Identifier – Unique numerical organizational identifier assigned by Ringgold. Ringgold IDs are numeric, unique and sequentially assigned. They contain between four and six digits, but there is no limit to the number of digits, and the individual digits do not signify anything. Ringgold IDs are not recycled, so the number for a record which is deleted is never used again.

Ringgold Places – City, Admin Areas, State, Regions, Counties, Civilities, Provinces, etc, standardized by Ringgold. Also includes Longitude and Latitude for the City.

Ringgold Subjects – Five hierarchical subject levels and over 800 subjects; areas that the organization is involved in. For a full list of all subjects used in the database see the Subjects tab here: Identify Academic Classifications

Ringgold Tier – Applied to every organization in the Identify Database, a Ringgold Tier indicates industry sector, size and type of the organization. Full list of Ringgold Tiers.

Ringgold Type – The Ringgold Type classification has been specifically developed to categorize organizations worldwide. The Ringgold Type classification has two parts: sector/subject or type.  The first part before the / will give an indication of the sector of the organization: academic, consortium, corporate, government (central government), hospital, other (non-profit institutions), public (local government), school. The part after the / gives an indication of the subject or type of the organization. Full list of Ringgold Types.

Sector – Classification category of Ringgold Types: Academic, Corporate, Government, Hospital, Other, Public, School. Full list of Ringgold Types.

Self-Description – How an organization describes itself.

Simple Search – Finds Ringgold IDs, organization names, and ISNIs.

Size – For academic institutions this is the number of students. Where possible FTE figures are used but may be total enrollment. For all other kinds of organization, size represents the total number of employees.

Staff – For academic institutions this is number of faculty members or teachers. For all other kinds of organization it is the number of professionals of predominant interest (e.g. lawyers, faculty, researchers, and teachers). This figure is a subset of size, with the exception of student and faculty figures. Where possible FTE figures are used. US academic organizations with an IPED have a full-time enrolment count from the NCES dataset.

URL – Main domain, sub-domain or specific department URL. Long strings are not used and ‘http’ is not included. We also retain alternative sites, former sites and email domains.


See also: Identify Database Editorial Policy
See also: Identify Database Metadata Elements


What if I need more help? If you require clarification on any aspects of using our products and services please do not hesitate to contact us. In addition, extra training can be provided online or in person.

Email your enquiries to, or Skype us at ‘ringgoldinc’