Organization Identifier Working Group


The Organization Identifier (OrgID) Working Group was established in January 2017 to refine the structure, principles, and technology specifications for an open, independent, non-profit organization identifier registry to facilitate the disambiguation of researcher affiliations.   The scope of work included three separate but interdependent areas: Governance, Registry Product Definition, and Business Model & Funding.  The goal of the Working Group was to create an implementation plan by the end of 2017.  Following a discussion of RFI responses and plans for a stakeholder meeting, the Working Group was wound down in December 2017.  This page will continue to be updated with progress reports until such time as a host is established and a dedicated webpage is created for the Organization ID Initative.


The Working Group built off the previous work of stakeholders in this space, including a series of collaborative workshops organized by DataCite, ORCID, and Crossref in 2016.   These workshops – held at the FORCE11 Conference in Portland OR, the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) Meeting in San Antonio TX, and PIDapalooza in Reykjavik – sought to explore the current landscape and to collect use cases from across the scholarly communications industry.  Findings from these workshops were summarized in three documents, which we made available for public comment. The versions with commentary can be found here:

These documents formed the foundation for this Working Group project, and provided its framing principles:

  1. The registry will support reliable, open, permanent, and unambiguous identification of organizations with whom researchers are affiliated.
  2. The registry will not be limited by institutional, stakeholder, corporate entity type, business, geographic, or national boundaries.
  3. Participation in the registry and access to its services will be based on transparent and non-discriminatory terms of use.
  4. The identifier and metadata supporting the disambiguation of organizations will be available as Open Data using a CC-0 license.
  5. The registry will have a sustainable business model based on revenue generation consistent with its mission to ensure its long-term openness, persistence, and reliability.
  6. All software developed for the registry will be publicly released under an Open Source Software license approved by the Open Source Initiative.
  7. For the software it adopts, the initiative will prefer Open Source.
  8. The registry will be governed by representatives from a broad cross-section of stakeholders drawn from the community it serves, the majority of whom represent not-for-profit organizations, and will strive for maximal transparency by publicly posting summaries of all meetings and provide financial reports.The registry will have an explicit living will and, if acquired, it will continue to operate under these principles.


Working Group members were selected to ensure a broad range of experience and perspectives, including expertise in research data discovery, data management, persistent identifiers, economics research, funding, archiving, non-profit membership organizations, academia, publishing, and metadata development.

  • Christopher Brown, Jisc
  • John Chodacki, California Digital Library (Chair)
  • Laura Cox, Ringgold
  • Trisha Cruse, DataCite (Steering Committee)
  • Tim Devenport, Editeur
  • Mike Frame, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Danny Goroff, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • Laure Haak, ORCID (Steering Committee)
  • Christina Hoppermann, Springer Nature 
  • Andres Mori, Digital Science
  • Ed Pentz, Crossref (Steering Committee)
  • Paul Peters, Hindawi Publishing
  • Andrew Pitts, The IP Registry
  • Erin Robinson, Foundation for Earth Sciences
  • Arthur Smith, American Physical Society
  • Thomas Vestdam, Elsevier
  • Simeon Warner, Cornell University

Project Consultants:

  • Kristen Ratan, Collaborative Knowledge Foundation
  • Helen Szigeti, Society for Scholarly Publishing

Structure and Process

The Working Group formed the main decision-making body of the project, and was led by the Chair. The Steering Committee members provided guidance to the Chair and were active members of the Working Group. The Working Group accomplished the first phase of its work in parallel breakout groups in the areas of Governance, Registry Product Definition, and Business Model & Funding. Breakout groups were responsible for developing the preliminary implementation plan for their target areas and presenting them back to the Working Group. Where needed, additional external experts were recruited to assist a particular breakout group in its tasks. See the breakout group pages for additional details. The Working Group met monthly. Breakout groups met between Working Group calls.

Progress Reports

Links to project progress summaries will be added to this page and the breakout group pages throughout the course of the project.

Request for Information

The Working group issued a Request for Information on 9 October 2017 to solicit comment and expressions of interest from the broader research community in developing the Registry. We published an RFI Q&A on 30 October 2017 and extended the RFI deadline to 1 December 2017. Responses were collated and presented to the Working Group in mid December.

Next Steps

The Steering Committee hosted a Stakeholder meeting on 22 January 2018. The meeting marked a transition from the Working Group to a formal launch of an Organization ID Registry Initiative. Attendees included RFI respondents,members of the Working Group, and other stakeholders, with the stated goal of establishing a governance structure for the initiative.


For additional information about the Working Group please contact us