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 is an integral part of the national framework for the Open Science.

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A range of services

Living and administered database of authority records (individuals, communities, congresses, common names RAMEAU or FMesh, form or genus RAMEAU, geographical name, title, author-title ...) identified in a unique and perennial way, provides establishments with a wide range of services.

IdRef, the pivotal identifier for Higher Education and Research

Each authority record has an identifierIdRef, a stable and perennial identifier based on the record Sudoc identifier (PPN). IdRef is interoperable with the main international identifiers (ISNI, VIAF, ORCID, wikidata). At the national level, the following IdRef is linked to the identifier ARK used by the National Library of France.

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

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

Due to the mandatory reporting of doctoral theses (authors, research directors, jury members...), IdRef has an 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 and interoperable identifier, it IdRef is fully in line with the dynamic undertaken by the MESRI to implement the conditions of the Open Science. In this logic, the identifier IdRef is used by many RSE operators or within the framework of calls for documentary projects (Collex-Persée, ANR) mainly to make data relating to individuals and communities more reliable, such as the example of  ScanRa search and innovation engine developed by the MESRI.

See : Open credentials 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

With free access on the Internet, the public interface IdRef - Identifiers and Reference Frameworks for the ESR is dedicated to the search and consultation of authority records (individuals, communities, congresses, common names RAMEAU or FMesh, form or genre RAMEAU, 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 back to related bibliographic resources: in the Sudoc,, Calamesbut also in HALPerseus, 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 such as Zotero)
  • report an error / suggest an improvement to the manual

note: the public IdRef interface can be integrated with third party applications in order to create links between records as they go along

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 EtalabAbes, the authority data is under Open Licence / Open Licence of the State elaborated by the Etalab mission. Various technical modalities for the exposure of 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). The authority dataAbes administrator pays particular attention to the quality of the links between authority records and bibliographic records.

Service of providing alignments

Since 2017, itAbes offers a service for providing alignments between identifiers used in particular to link the data authorities "natural persons" from different databases.