Representing Organizations in ISNI

With the ongoing growth in scholarly publishing and the explosion in co-authorship, tracking which publications are associated with which organizations is harder than ever before. An organizational identifier can reduce confusion resulting from name changes, mergers and name variants including names translated into other languages. Among the benefits from using an organizational identifier, institutions can more easily identify and collate researchers’ output across your whole institution or within a school or department. The International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) is the globally recognized and adopted international standard approved by ISO for the unique identification of the public identities of persons and organizations across all fields of creative activity.

The OCLC Research Partners Task Group on Representing Organizations in ISNI is charged to document how organizations should be represented in the ISNI database. The task group's goal is to advise the OCLC ISNI team in Leiden on ways to improve ISNI record quality, encoding, completeness, user interface, diffusion and to help better engage the community.



Challenges presented by Organizational IDs, Karen Smith-Yoshimura - CNI Spring 2015 Membership Meeting, Seattle WA

The Complexity of Scholar Affiliation in ISNI and VIVO, Karen Smith-Yoshimura, Jing Wang, Janifer Gatenby - 2015 VIVO Conference, Cambridge MA, 13 August 2015.


Working group members will:

  1. identify issues that need to be addressed and work with the ISNI team to find ways to resolve these issues either: a) algorithmically by machine processing b) by manual review and editing, including crowd-sourcing.
  2. develop use cases specific to library and academic needs and then determine how ISNI records could address them. Provide specific examples of ISN records for these use cases that can be used as templates and guidelines.
  3. review any changes the ISNI team makes in processing organization records to verify that they address the problems identified. Review documentation that reflects changes in workflow.
  4. draft documents that would be needed to do the outreach necessary to encourage crowd-sourcing and participation by other organizations. These documents would articulate ISNI's goals, rules, benefits of ISNI organizational identifiers by researchers, libraries and academic institutions, examples of how other organizations (such as ORCID, funders and Wikidata) use ISNIs, and how organizations can establish identifiers.
  5. document how ISNI identity differs from others (where known)
  6. document search tips for finding organizations in the ISNI database which can be added to the ISNI search documentation.

Scope: although all types of organizations may be considered, the task group's primary focus will be on academic institutions and organizations with which academic institutions interact.


Most recent updates: Page content: 2016-03-11


Karen Smith-Yoshimura

Team Members

Janifer Gatenby

Representing Organizations in ISNI Task Group

Grace Agnew
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Christopher Brown

Kate Byrne
University of New South Wales

Matthew Carruthers
University of Michigan

Peter Fletcher
University of California, Los Angeles

Stephen Hearn
University of Minnesota

Xiaoli Li
University of California, Davis

Marina Muilwijk
Utrecht University

Chew Chiat Naun
Cornell University

John Riemer
University of California, Los Angeles

Roderick Sadler
La Trobe University

Jing Wang
Johns Hopkins University

Glen Wiley
University of Miami

Kayla Willey
Brigham Young University