Grid Blog post

GRID’s extensive database of over 63,000 organisations associated with research is now available as Open Linked Data

15th August, 10:40am UK time  

We are pleased to announce that Digital Science’s Global Research Identifier Database (GRID) is now available as RDF, joining a wide range of other prestigious data sources on the web of data. By using the Resource Description Framework (RDF) to describe its data, GRID facilitates interlinking with other datasets using a well defined vocabulary based on human conceptualisation – commonly referred to as an ontology. This enables consumers to readily integrate GRID data with their own datasets and make use of the extensive metadata available covering geography, typology, organisational hierarchies and relationships.

GRID’s persistent identifiers provide a mechanism to unambiguously link data about research artefacts (such as articles, grants, patents, etc) to relevant organisations. Because identifiers are never destroyed, only updated, users can be confident that their data will remain up-to-date even when an organisation changes name, owners or even location. Moreover, GRID’s unique collection of references to other identification systems (such as the Open Funder Registry, ISNI, Orgref, Wikidata and more) supplies even more power to users, enabling them to easily integrate data from multiple sources in different data formats.

The development of GRID’s RDF capability has benefited strongly from collaboration with the VIVO community. Over the past few months, Digital Science and VIVO have been working together to incorporate GRID into the open source semantic research discovery platform. One of the many challenges faced by the VIVO community is how to model researcher affiliations such that unambiguous identifiers are used to model how academics are related to the institutions they work at. By incorporating GRID into VIVO, a rich network can be established linking academics to organisations via the articles they write, the grants they receive and the positions they occupy. As part of the GRIDs RDF activities, a mapping between GRID and VIVO ontologies will be published.

For the technical audience, you can find the GRID ontology definition at GRID ids can be used to formulate semantic web URIs that support consumption of linked data via content negotiation. For example the GRID id for the University of Southampton, UK is grid.5491.9 and it’s corresponding semantic web address is <>. To request RDF XML for this resource, use the *NIX command:

curl -L -H 'Accept: application/rdf+xml'