Handy hints to help you get the best out of your searches and results in Identify Online.

See also: Identify Online FAQ
See also: Identify Online Glossary
See also: Identify Database Metadata Elements

  Identify Online provides multiple ways to do the same thing. As a result, there are several ways to accomplish the same task – for example, you might start looking for an organization with a Simple Search and use IDO to narrow your results – or, you may use Advanced Search to create a more targeted initial search. Regardless of the task, the best approach is the one that works for you.

  Which browser? We recommend Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. Use a maximized window, and set the ‘view’ to 100% for best results.  Some features may look different between browsers, but they should all work.
The BACK ButtonWhen you configure an Advanced Search, then view results, Browser-Back will take you back to the Advanced Search Screen and IDO will remember your previous selections.

  Clear All. If you are conducting a new Advanced Search, always click the ‘Clear All’ button to ensure you are starting from a blank set of variables. Please note that this will also clear the default setting of ‘include parents’ within the Ringgold Subjects selection. Re-select ‘include parents’ if you search on subjects and want to include the parents of institutions that match your selected subjects.

  Downloading results. CSV files cannot be opened directly by Excel. This is not unique to Ringgold, it is a common and expected ‘feature’ of Excel. See Systems Files Tech Tip for more information on how to properly handle CSV files, and avoid data corruption in many circumstances.

  What’s in a Name? 

  • Name search in both Simple and Advanced Search works on weighted frequency. Use one or more search words to find records containing those words in the record name. e.g. Oxford University. An Advanced name search will return records that contain both of those words anywhere in the name or alternate name, e.g. ‘Oxford’ and ‘University’. For an exact phrase search use quotes e.g. “University of Oxford”.
  • A Name search will look on the main native legal name, English translation or any alternate names such as acronyms or former names.
  • Name searches are not case sensitive. We change ‘&’ to ‘and’ unless it is part of the legal name, e.g. ‘Texas A&M University’. All punctuation including commas are removed except ‘ (replaces “) and – (for campus records). No diacritics are used. All abbreviations are spelled out, except Co, Inc, GmbH, Ltd, LLC etc, unless part of the legal name, e.g. Company, Limited, St, etc. Definite and indefinite articles are removed from the beginning of names, such as ‘The’, ‘A’, ‘An’, ‘Der’, Le’ except where part of the legal name, e.g. ‘The Open University’.
  • Consider variations in spellings e.g. centre/center, behavioral/behavioural, organisation/organization, defence/defense.
  • ISO 8859 Latin 2 is the character set used for East European languages.

See the full Identify Database Editorial Policy for further details on Ringgold’s naming policy.


For the best search experience, you should also consider:
  • Boolean. CAPITALIZATION is required (AND, OR, NOT) and works for the following fields; Organization name, Ringgold ID, URL, post code, admin area.
  • Cities. This field works differently to the others. To search on more than one city, enter multiple city names separated by commas (no spaces) and results will contain any of these, e.g. York,London,Exeter. Will also search Alternative Names. The search will only work on a complete city name, wildcards can’t be used here.
  • No results. Searching by name with the most unique or significant keyword in the organization name will help narrow your results. Or find the URL for the organization on Google first and then search on the URL. Try also searching for the parent record and then expand the hierarchy to look for subsidiaries. And consider synonyms, e.g. medical center/hospital/clinic/health centre.
  • Libraries now have records of their own. Organizational records for libraries are mapped into both an administrative hierarchy and also into a hierarchy for the libraries themselves, wherever appropriate. For example, a university law library will be mapped administratively to the law department and will also be mapped to the main university library in the library hierarchy.
  • Size/Staff. Using this advanced search field will restrict results as not all records contain a size and/or staff metric.
  • Truncation. Use the wildcard * for truncation e.g. medic* will find records containing both “medicine” and “medical”.
  • Tiers. Use Ringgold Tiers in Identify Online to narrow your results of organizations. For example, use tier A4 in a search to find doctorate-granting, research-heavy academic institutions. Searching for all Ringgold H2 and H5 tiers within a particular city will give all hospitals, rather than typing the word hospital in the name field. A complete list and description of Ringgold Tiers is here.
  • Types. Review all Ringgold Types used in the Identify Database to ensure you have captured everything relevant for your search. Some Type sectors can also be a Ringgold Type in their own right, e.g. ‘academic’, ‘govt’, ‘hospital’, ‘public’, ‘school’. Some organizations may be classified as one of several similar Ringgold Types. If you are looking for all hospitals, for example, be sure to select hospital and hospital/children and academic/hospital. If you want to see ALL medical research institutes, select academic/medres AND other/medres. A complete list and description of Ringgold Types is here.
  • URLs are retained by specific domain level, where available, for records in the Identify Database. Searching for *rai.ox.ac.uk will provide more precise results than the wider domain of *ox.ac.uk, for example. Replace any part of a domain with the wild card * for potentially more search results, e.g. www.pfizer.co.uk/pfizer-worldwide or www.pfizer.it/0801/1600/progetti.asp > *pfizer* will find all.

See also: Identify Online FAQ
See also: Identify Online Glossary
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 support@ringgold.com, or Skype us at ‘ringgoldinc’