Sometimes you need more than a name!

Many groups are interested in augmenting their affiliation metadata with RORs and it seems that a list of organization names is the right input to that process… Alas, we know that affiliations are a swamp filled with gotcha’s. It turns out that an unexpected (really?) number of organization names resolve to multiple RORs. Actually, almost 800 of them!

These names occur ten times or more:
10 Ministry of Defence
10 St Mary’s Hospital
11 Institute of Physics
12 Ministry of Agriculture
12 Ministry of Finance
12 St. Luke’s Hospital
13 Government Medical College
15 Ministry of Culture
15 Ministry of Foreign Affairs
19 Ministry of Justice
21 Ministry of Education
54 Ministry of Health

These names should raise yellow flags in any ROR adoption process! This is a list of the names and how often they occur.


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Thanks for sharing your explorations of the ROR data, Ted. Names alone are certainly not enough! Having unique and persistent ROR IDs for all research organizations (there are currently 96K+ in the registry) is one big step toward facilitating disambiguation. Organizations sharing the same name is an inevitable scenario, especially with government ministries/departments, hospitals, and universities (Lincoln University is one example we often talk about). There are a few things we’ve been working on to enable better discovery and identification to mitigate these inevitabilities and help users choose the “correct” ROR - e.g., adding more metadata to records (e.g., more specific geolocation details, parent/child relationships), improving our search/querying functionality, and also developing comprehensive curation workflows.

This is a community effort and we’re eager to have more people involved in how we approach these challenges and opportunities. Thanks!