Limited Corporation for Information Management and Documentation

Editing a database on research institutes

Project examples


Our client, a company in the pharmaceutical industry, commissioned GIMD with the creation of a database listing names of research institutes and scientific facilities, which had to be identified unambiguously by standardized designations.

Project duration: 6 months

In scientific papers, authors usually indicate the name of their research facility (their affiliation) arbitrarily: Some give its full name (e.g. Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich), some use the acronym LMU Munich, and some merely refer to the University of Munich. Designations become more difficult in cases like Madrid, Spain, with its more than 12 institutions of higher learning, or the academic teaching hospital in Mannheim – which, surprisingly, is no part of Mannheim University, but of the University of Heidelberg – or the various locations of Berlin’s Charité Hospital, with their differing postcodes. The situation is aggravated for countries like Russia, China, or Japan, with academic structures that are difficult to assess.

Our client sent us a pre-version of the database with automatically generated suggestions for obviously identical, yet differently named affiliations – which, however, were incomplete or unusable in many cases. The correct designations therefore had to be identified or re-formulated. This task called for the trained detecting skills and the utmost diligence of our linguists. Thanks to their long years of professional experience, they can often spot a problem at first glance. In addition, they are also familiar with many national particularities of citation. At the end, the designations were imported into our client’s database as controlled vocabulary.

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