ISNI – International Standard Name Identifier for Creators and Organisations

Janifer Gatenby
EMEA Program Manager Metadata, OCLC B.V., Leiden, The Netherlands

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ISNI identifiers act as shorthand for an ensemble of metadata and serve by facilitating links to serve accurate, noiseless identification, retrieval, request and delivery, especially in an online context. The ISNI-IA database, launched in November 2011, consists of a set of authoritative metadata associated with an ISNI as an immutable identifier serving to act as a pivot among linked data sources. ISNI’s scope is international and cross domain, covering creators, persons and organisations involved in the supply chain of all forms of creative works. Rights management societies, trade organisations and libraries, representing several hundred organisations are collectively working to maintain the ISNI database. Each organisation contributes to the quality of the metadata and to the level of confidence that can be deduced where each has sourced its data independently. Not only is the quality improved by making direct links among data from multiple, diverse sources, there is considerable duplication of verification and identification that can be eliminated and efficiencies can be achieved by integration of the ISNI database in work flows.