Persistent identifiers for organizations

Persistent identifiers (PIDs) for organizations are not exactly new, but so far, a comprehensive, open, and accessible organization identifier infrastructure that identifies affiliations and is independent of a particular service provider’s business needs has been missing. PIDs for organizations are useful to get an overview of the publication output of an organization and track the influence of affiliations.


The Global Research Identifier Database (GRID) lists research organizations worldwide. Each organization is assigned a unique GRID ID and described by metadata such as a web page, the institution's type, geo-coordinates, and name variations of institutions. INSPIRE links the affiliations of authors on publications to GRID and ROR.


ISNI currently provides identifiers for over 700,000 organizations in its registry. The ISNI IDs are maintained in a single database which is curated by a network of members and registration agencies.

CERN ISNI:  0000 0001 2156 142X


ISNI has one agency dedicated to the specific curation of organization identities, Ringgold, which manages around 500,000 ISNIs linked to its own proprietary Ringgold Org ID.

CERN Ringold ID: 30531


Crossref, DataCite and California Digital Library and Digital Science joined forces to create the Research Organization Registry (ROR). ROR was launched in January 2019 to meet the particular need of identifying affiliations on researchers’ publications. INSPIRE has already adopted ROR in their service and DataCite has integrated an affiliation identifier including support for ROR in the recent version of the DataCite Metadata Schema. ROR consolidates other identifiers currently in use (e.g. GRID, ISNI, Crossref Funder ID, Wikidata) at a coarser granularity.

See more Unique identifiers on Wikipedia

Last modified
30 June, 2020