More than 6.5 million assignments of the ISO-certified naming standard International Standard Name Identifier, known as “ISNI”, are ensuring the right information gets connected with the right name. Published in early 2012, the standard applies a unique 16-digit code to public identities, providing a single identifier that can be leveraged across many applications, helping to sync alternate or disparate spellings of the same name, and eliminating confusion when names are alike.
It’s been quickly accepted by information organizations, including Wikipedia.
The ISNI International Agency, a worldwide group of organizations that serve researchers, rights management organizations, authors, musicians, and other public contributors, created the standard to disambiguate names. The ISNI acts a link for the data about an identity and is used across all media industries. So, for example, information about Charles, Prince of Wales is distinct from information about Charles Prince, an author, or Prince Charles, an R&B artist, and the information attached to, say, “Tolstoy” is also attached to “Tolstoi.”
Once an ISNI is assigned by a registration agency, it is shared across the global digital information industry, enabling organizations to apply it to content by or about that party held in their databases. Users tapping into any of the organizations that use ISNIs will need only a name and just enough background data (such as a birth date or book title) to zero in on the correct identity. Then, the ISNI will take over, connecting all the appropriate public information. ISNIs are especially important for organizations administering rights, simplifying identification and administration of royalties.
Search the ISNI Database (via ISNI Portal)
Read the Complete Announcement (via Bowker)