Enabling Meaningful Affiliation Searches in the ADS

For many years, users have wanted to search affiliations in the ADS in order to build institutional databases and to help with author disambiguation.  Although we provide this capability to those who ask, it can not be used reliably, primarily because of the lack of uniform representation of the affiliation data.  In an effort to make affiliation searches more meaningful, we have designed a two-tiered hierarchy of standard institutional names based on Ringgold identifiers with the expectation that this will enable us to implement a search by institution which will work for most institutions.

It is our intention to provide the capability of searching the ADS both by standard affiliation name and original affiliation string, as well as to enable auto-suggest of affiliations as a means of helping to disambiguate author identification.  Smaller institutions are likely to require manual work, and we encourage interested librarians to assist us in standardizing the representation of their institutions in the affiliation field.

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