May 26, 2022

Open Data Resource: OrgRef Contains Data About More than 31,000 Academic and Research Organizations Around the World

Here’s a resource that might be of interest and potentially worthy of further investigation.

OrgRef is an open data set (beta) containing entries for more than 31,000 academic and research organizations located around the world.

It’s free to download and utilizes a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (same as Wikipedia).

In their words:

{OrgRef] extracts structured information about organizations from Wikipedia and other open resources [and] aims to cover the most important academic and research organizations worldwide, sharing basic metadata about each one (e.g. name, country, URL) along with standard IDs from Wikidata, ISNI and VIAF, where possible.

OrgRef was 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.

OrgRef is managed and maintained for the benefit of the publishing community by DataSalon.

Although this resource targets publishers it’s easy to imagine how this data could be used in a variety of reference situations.

Earlier this week Cambridge University Press announced they were now using the OrgRef data set.

OrgRef Help and Documentation (Includes List of Data Fields)

Direct to OrgRef Database Download Page (Zip File, Expands to 6MB .CSV File)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.