Production and enrichment of authority records

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IdRef - Identifiers and Benchmarks for the ESR

The basis of bibliographic data quality, authority data unambiguously identifies the persons (natural and legal), places, concepts and works related to the resource described. They constitute a guarantee of reliability and structuring for the unhindered dissemination of research results.

The platform IdRef - Identifiers and Repositories for Higher Education and Research platform is fully in line with the national scheme for open science.

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A range of services

A living, managed database of authority records (individuals, communities, congresses, RAMEAU or FMesh common names, RAMEAU form or genre, geographical name, title, author-title, etc.) uniquely and permanently identified, provides institutions with a wide range of services.

IdRef, the pivotal identifier for Higher Education and Research

Each authority record has an identifier IdRef, a stable and permanent identifier built on the record identifier Sudoc (PPN). IdRef is interoperable with the main international identifiers(ISNI, VIAF, ORCID, wikidata). At the national level, IdRef is linked to the ARK identifier used by the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

By optimising the aggregation of bibliographic data from different production contexts, the IdRef identifier plays a pivotal role in ESR information systems:

  • data administered byAbes : Sudoc,, Calames ...
  • open archives : HAL, institutional archives...
  • open access scientific editions 
  • research data warehouses...

Because of the mandatory reporting of doctoral theses (authors, research directors, jury members, etc.), IdRef has excellent coverage of contemporary researchers. Thus, IdRef constitutes a register of digital identities with a strong tropism for scientific authors working in France. 

As an open, interoperable identifier, IdRef is fully in line with the MESR's drive to create the conditions for Open Science. In line with this approach, the IdRef identifier is used by numerous ESR operators or as part of calls for documentary projects (Collex-Persée, ANR), essentially to ensure the reliability of data relating to individuals and communities, as in the case of ScanRa search and innovation engine developed by the MESR.

See : Open IDs for Open Science Guidance Note from the Committee for Open Science (CoSo) - College Europe and International (07/06/2019)

IdRef public, interface for searching and consulting authority data

In free access on the Internet, the public interface IdRef - Identifiers and Repositories for the ESR is dedicated to the search and consultation of authority records (natural persons, communities, congresses, RAMEAU or FMesh common names, RAMEAU form or genre, geographical name, title, author-title...).

From the IdRef public interface, the user has the possibility to : 

  • view authority records: access points, variants, notes, sources, interoperability with other identifiers
  • bounce to related bibliographic resources: in the Sudoc, Calamesbut also in HAL, Persée, ORCID or the BnF catalogue...
  • visualize contextual elements: for example for "natural persons" authority records, display of co-contributors, communities, associated RAMEAU concepts
  • retrieve data (on the fly) in different formats (XML, RDF, formats compatible with bibliographic reference management software like Zotero)
  • report an error / suggest an improvement to the manual

Note: the public interface IdRef can be integrated with third-party applications to link records in real time

IdRef professional: cataloguing module for authority records

Accessible under authentication, the cataloguing IdRef module is available as a stand-alone cataloguing tool. It is also interconnected to different cataloguing and/or data production environments within the ESR : 

Thus, cataloguers remain in their initial production environment and seamlessly "switch" to IdRef linking or creating the required authority records, thus producing or enriching reference data that can be freely reused.

Exposure services / reuse of authority data

Like all the metadata produced by the production networks managed by theAbes, the authority data are subject to the Open Licence of the State drawn up by the Etalab mission. Various technical modalities for exposing authority data are proposed in order to facilitate their reuse.

Support for quality control of data and links

Authority data is extremely valuable for the construction of linked open data (LOD). TheAbes administers authority data with particular attention to the quality of the links between authority records and bibliographic records.

Service of providing alignments

Since 2017, theAbes proposes a service of supply of alignments between identifiers used in particular to link the data authorities "physical persons" resulting from various databases. This service is proposed to the administrators of HAL portals.