Important information to help you understand how data is added to GRID, what is in the database, why we included it, and how data was gathered.

What data is included in GRID?

GRID is comprised of a worldwide collection of institutes associated with academic research. The institutes contained are distinguished by a unique identifier, GRID ID. Each unique GRID record also contains relevant metadata, as well as relationships between associated institutes.

What metadata is included?

GRID records contain a wealth of metadata obtained from trusted sources. Among these we include established dates, name aliases, acronyms and geolocation. Additionally we include links to external webpages such as wikipedia and official websites, as well as external identifiers such as ISNI, GeoNames and Fundref.

What types of relationships are included?

GRID records can display relationships between each other. We currently model two types of relationships. A relationship that defines a subordinate association, called a parent-child relationship See example and a relationship that describes other associations, called a related relationship. See example

How do we add data to GRID?

Data extracted from research funding grants and research paper affiliations is formatted into source data. In this format, source data is associated manually to the corresponding GRID record in a process called mapping. Whenever a source data row can not be mapped to a GRID record, a new record is created. Records are named by using the generally recognised name of the institution, which is determined by querying the official website, encyclopaedic records and other trusted data sources.

What types of institutes can be found in GRID?


An educational institution where research takes place. Can grant degrees and includes faculties, departments and schools. See example


A health related facility where patients are treated. Includes hospitals, medical centres, health centres, treatment center. Includes trusts and healthcare systems. See example


Business entity with the aim of gaining profit. See example


Repository of documents, artifacts, or specimens. Includes libraries and museums that are not part of a university. See example


Organisation that uses its surplus revenue to achieve its goals. Includes charities and other non-government research funding bodies. See example


An organisation operated mainly by the government of one or multiple countries. See example


A building or facility dedicated to research of a specific area, usually contains specialised equipment. Includes telescopes, observatories and particle accelerators. See example


Used in cases where none of the previously mentioned types are suitable. See example

How do we choose the name for an institute?

GRID records are named based on the official or most recognisable version of their name. This conforms to what is available from a valid source, such as the official website or the main Wikipedia entry. In cases where a local language name has an official English version, the latter is preferred.

Type-specific mapping

Mapping is the process by which we manually assign source data rows to GRID records. The type of institute affects the way source data are mapped to GRID records. In particular we adhere to the following mapping policies when dealing with specific types.


  • University faculties, schools, departments and campuses are all mapped to the main university record, with the exception of campuses part of university systems.

  • University systems members are mapped to individual GRID records. See example


  • Companies with multiple offices in the same country are mapped to the GRID record of the head office. Their names contain the country in which their head office is located in parenthesis. See example


  • Education related healthcare institutes, e.g. university hospitals, are mapped separately from the affiliated educational institution. See example