What is Identify Online?

The Identify Online interface enables users to search and browse the entire database of institutional records, view organization records and hierarchies, and export search results into Excel or PDF format. It is a supplemental business intelligence tool, and one of several ways Identify subscribers can access the database. (Other access methods are local loading, API, and use of an approved third-party software vendor.) Combined with the Identify Audit Service, Ringgold may be able to load audited subscriber details into a secure view of Identify Online.

Authoritative: Each institutional record has been meticulously researched by our team of more than 40 experts. Located around the globe, our researchers speak over 25 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 Online records bring together metadata including size, location, URLs, standard classification schemes, and consortium membership – and combine 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.

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


What can Identify Online do for me?

Identify Online helps you to understand and explore the market for academic and scholarly content like no other single resource. Find detailed data on a single institution, or use Identify Online to explore the wider market for your titles.  Multiple layers of Search Functionality allows 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
  • Find consortia and consortium members

Clients of Ringgold’s Audit Service may also compare their customers to the larger market, by having Ringgold host their audited subscriber files:

  • See both subscribers and non-subscribers in any Identify Online search, including consortia holdings
  • Filter searches by title, product or package
  • Generate gap analysis and market penetration reports


Identify Database content and structure

The Identify Database covers institutions that are known to subscribe to scholarly content. All types and sectors of organizations are included as well as their sub-units, departments and offices. In principle libraries are not included as unique records unless they are stand alone, or have multiple ownership (for example, some German or French university libraries, or health libraries serving multiple institutions such as Exeter Health Library and the Joint Bank Fund Library). However, library names are typically included as “alternative names” for the institution which they serve.

The academic sector covers universities, colleges, sixth-form colleges, schools and commercial colleges. These may be subdivided into colleges, faculties, schools or departments. Individual campuses of academic institutions are given separate records. An alternative name is generated for the main campus where it has a specific name.

In general, schools are classified under the type academic/school. In addition some schools are included in academic/special where the school or college serves special needs students. Commercial companies which own schools or colleges are usually corporate/edu. UK sixth form colleges are classed as schools.

The database distinguishes between central government (govt) and local government (public). State and regional governments are classified as public. The top level of government is classified as govt/central or public/central. Large government research units such as academies of science or research networks such as Max-Planck Society are typed as academic/govt. Counties, districts or towns are not connected to states or top level government. Depending on the local structure, public libraries may be allocated to their town, county or regional network.

Organizations are treated as corporate if they act as profit-making corporations. Some charitable organizations which act as corporations, such as university presses, are treated as academic/corporate, but their parent is academic.

There is no differentiation between public and private hospitals because it is frequently difficult to separate the functions, and many are both. Hospitals are frequently grouped into health systems which may include private medical clinics, and home health agencies.

Most organizations classified as other are not-for-profit.

Full list of Ringgold Types

Ringgold’s Editorial Policy


Next step: Logging in to Identify Online

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 'ringgoldinc'