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UPDATES March 2017: OrgReg

The Register of Public-Sector Organizations (OrgReg) is a new facility being developed within RISIS in order to provide an unambiguous identification of research organizations and higher education institutions belonging to the public sector. OrgReg is also a central element for the harmonization of databases dealing with organizations within RISIS, as it allows providing unambiguous identifiers for each entity and, therefore, linking different datasets for what concerns the identification of organizations.

 

It covers following types of organizations:

  • – Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
  • – Public Research Organizations (PROs).
  • – Research Hospitals (RH).
  • – Governmental Research Units (GOV).
  • – Private Non-Profit research Organizations (PNP).

 

For each entity included in the register, OrgReg provides the following information:

  • – An unambiguous and stable over time identifier for the entity (ID).
  • – Demographic information, including foundation and closure year and a tracking of demographic events (for example mergers between entities).
  • – The legal and the English name of the entity and its changes over time.
  • – A set of characteristics of the entities, including the website, country of establishment, the entity type and level (group, organization, component). These characteristics can change over time.
  • – A set of geographical locations for the entity, including postcode, city name, geographical coordinates, and NUTS3-level codes. At least the location of the main seat will be included, but the register is set in principle to cover also other locations (eg multi-location campuses).

 

OrgReg will be available remotely through the RISIS datasets portal (datasets.risis.eu) and its authentication service. It is intended to cover all European countries (EU-28 and associated countries to the European Framework Programme) and the time period from the year 2000 onwards. Users can download the entities list in different formats (either a simple list or a panel list) for their further usage (for example for matching with other datasets).

 

Organizations are an increasingly important dimension in science policy studies. Beyond the individual level of analysis (publication, researcher, etc.), it has been recognized that organizations are important actors in the science system, which act to some extent as collective entities and are able to take strategic decisions, framing also the behavior of individual researchers.

 

This recognition also spurred the production of STI indicators at the level of whole organizations. As a matter of fact, a large number of databases within RISIS deal mostly with organizations or contain organizations as a major type of entity:

  • – The RISIS-ETER facility provides a comprehensive census and a set of statistical data on European Higher Education Institutions.
  • – The LEIDEN RANKING facility provides bibliometric data and indicators worldwide, having a major aggregation dimension in organizations.
  • – The EUPRO facility is a database of projects funded by the European Framework Programme, disaggregated by participating organizations.
  • – The IFRIS-PATSTAT facility is a database of European patents derived from PATSTAT, disaggregated by organisations filing a patent.

 

Other RISIS facilities include organizations as an important piece of information, for example the MORE survey on academic researchers, the PROFILE facility on PhD careers and the JoREP facility on European joint programmes.

 

Despite the advances, significant methodological challenges have remained, which has been the main reason for building OrgReg, by largely exploiting the information provided by these facilities. The central ones are:

  • – An unambiguous identification of the organizational perimeter, as experience shows that in many cases components of organizations (for example institutes affiliated to universities) might be singled out without identifying their linkage to a parent organization.
  • – A consistent attribution of entities to types, for example distinguishing between public research organizations and private companies.
  • – Tracking organizations over time (for example in case of name changes) and identifying demographic dependencies, for example organizations, which merged into a new entity. A proper treatment of organizational demography is essential, particularly for longitudinal studies.
  • – Harmonizing names of organizations across databases. While much of this work is already done in each facility, the same organization is usually recorded in two facilities with different names, respectively that these names do not match the official (legal name).

 

OrgReg has been developed within RISIS workpackage 8 (“Harmonization of organizational names”) in order to address these issues as follows:

  • – Develop a consistent methodology for dealing with organizations standardization across all RISIS facilities, in the form of the OrgReg handbook.
  • – Build on the information contained in the RISIS facilities and match organisation names recorded there using automated matching algorithms, complemented by manual cleaning, to populate the register for the whole of Europe and for the period 2000-current.
  • – Provide an on-line interface which allows users to remotely access to the register and to download the data for further use.
  • – Complete harmonization of organizations in the RISIS facilities by introducing the OrgReg IDs in their organizational tables.

 

The OrgReg facility is operated by JOANNEUM RESEARCH, Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Graz on behalf of the RISIS project. It is currently under construction; updates will be available on progress in the coming months.

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