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Open dataset gives insight into academic and research organisations worldwide

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DataSalon has launched OrgRef, an open dataset of academic and research organisations that is free for anyone to use.

OrgRef extracts structured information about organisations from Wikipedia and other existing open resources. It aims to cover the most important academic and research organisations worldwide, sharing basic metadata about each one (such as name, country and URL) along with standard ID numbers from ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier) and VIAF (Virtual International Authority File).

OrgRef was said to be created with publishers in mind, and so its main focus is on institutions involved with academic content: universities, colleges, schools, hospitals, government agencies and companies involved in research.

According to DataSalon, ‘for journal publishers, reference data about organisations is very important: it supports the cleaning and standardisation of a publisher’s own customer data; it can highlight potential new sales prospects; and it makes available standard IDs for better supply chain communications.’

The dataset has been in development and testing for over six months and is free and open. DataSalon says that it will also offer a range of related commercial services for matching, connecting and analysing OrgRef in combination with a publisher’s own customer data.

DataSalon invites feedback from all interested parties within the scholarly publishing supply chain.

‘We’re very proud to be releasing OrgRef as a free dataset,’ said Nick Andrews, managing director at DataSalon. ‘Our goal at DataSalon is to help publishers achieve better insight through better data, and we’re confident that our investment in OrgRef will bring significant benefits to our own clients, and also to the wider scholarly publishing community.’