Case Studies

Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is a global leader in content workflow and rights licensing technology. CCC solutions provide anytime, anywhere content access, usage rights and information management while promoting and protecting the interests of copyright holders. We serve more than 35,000 customers and 15,000 copyright holders worldwide, and manage more than 950 million rights from the world’s most sought-after journals, books, blogs, movies and more. Every year since 2008, CCC has been named one of the top 100 companies that matter most in the digital content industry by EContent Magazine.


The Challenge

In recent years, open access publishing has exploded – with more than 11,600 journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals as of May 2016.  The OA author-pays business model gave rise to complex pricing rules based on a wide array of factors (including the author’s institutional affiliation, publisher waivers and discounts, and more).  As a result, publishers required a sophisticated, fast, and efficient solution for estimating, confirming, and managing Author Processing Charges (APCs).

Enter RightsLink®, Copyright Clearance Center’s software solution for transacting open access APCs, as well as submission fees, page and color charges, reprint costs, membership dues, and more.

Because the author’s institutional affiliation frequently plays a key role in pricing, CCC turned to Ringgold to provide critical RightsLink® functionality:  the ability to unambiguously match an author’s affiliation to the list of institutions that qualify for discounts or waivers.


Solution: Identify Database




Copyright Clearance Center, a global licensing and content solutions organization, and Ringgold, the authority on institutional identification, were the perfect partners to forge this solution.

A single institutional authority file had to be applied to both the author’s affiliation and the list of organizations specified by the publisher, so that they could be accurately cross-referenced by the RightsLink® software. Ringgold’s Identify Database met the required criteria:

  • Global, multi-sector scope
  • Institution names represented in both English and native languages
  • Unique persistent identifiers for each institution – in this case, the Ringgold Identifier (Ringgold ID)
  • Systems-agnostic data
  • Organizational hierarchies reflecting linkages between related institutions, such as departments of study, universities, and university systems; or government agencies


  It’s critical for ACS to understand our authors and their affiliations so we can offer them a world-class publishing experience. 

We are a proponent of the use of standard institutional identifiers and this integration ensures that ACS provides authors with institutional discounts based on authoritative, disambiguated affiliation information. 


Dr. Darla Henderson, Assistant Director of Open Access Programs, American Chemical Society (ACS)



How It Works

The publisher’s list of institutions is first normalized against the Identify Database, disambiguating institutions and applying Ringgold Identifiers to all unique entities. This normalization process can be conducted by Ringgold or CCC, according to the publisher’s requirements. CCC now has an authoritative list of all qualifying institutions.

RightsLink® configures the publisher’s pricing and discount rules for any author charges the publisher plans to collect.  When a manuscript is accepted, RightsLink® or the publisher invites the author into a publisher-branded RightsLink® workflow to complete the payment transaction.

As an author progresses through the workflow, RightsLink disambiguates the author’s affiliation in real-time through an API call to Identify. The institution’s Ringgold ID is compared with the publisher’s list of institutions, which has previously been mapped to Identify as well. When a match is made, the proper discount is applied.

This implementation also accommodates the complexities which naturally arise with institutional entities. Let’s say the publisher’s list of institutions includes the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Tokyo.

Acronyms & name variants: When an author enters “UCLA” as his or her affiliation, the Identify-driven search results allow the author to select the correct institution from among University of California at Los Angeles (Ringgold ID 8783), Universidad Contemporanea de Las Américas (Ringgold ID 376277), or Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado (Ringgold ID 33177). With the clear understanding of which UCLA is meant by the author, the correct discount is applied. Or, if the affiliation is entered as Tokyo Daigaku, the Identify Database will also recognize its English name equivalent, Tokyo University (Ringgold ID 13143).

Related institutions & subsidiaries: If the author is at the Jules Stein Eye Institute (Ringgold ID 43352), this is part of the Identify hierarchy for University of California at Los Angeles, and the relevant discount is applied.

Once the correct institution-specific pricing is applied, the author can then request an invoice in one of up to seven currencies, or can opt to pay immediately by credit card. CCC handles all billing and collections for the publisher, including payment reminders, and provides multilingual, global customer service and support—by phone and/or online.


The Result

The result is a workflow that is author-centric, honors the publisher’s negotiated relationships, embeds standard identifiers into the manuscript and workflow metadata, and enables more accurate reporting by institutions.

Since the integration went live in 2014, RightsLink® has seen steady growth in the number of publishers leveraging Ringgold ID to drive discounts. In fact, in Q1 2016 Ringgold IDs drove 90% of the institutional discounts applied to transactions.



  Our RightsLink® integration with Ringgold has created tremendous value for our publishers, their authors and the institutions that fund them. 

Accurate, disambiguated metadata has become the linchpin that drives our platform and so many of the emerging services and stakeholders that support the research lifecycle today


Jennifer Goodrich, Director, Product Management, Copyright Clearance Center



  Publishers have put a great deal of thought into business rules around their Open Access models. The integration of Ringgold’s Identify Database with RightsLink helps publishers ensure they are providing their authors with the benefits to which they are contractually bound.

At the same time, the integration allows publishers to treat their authors as valued customers by delivering a great experience and avoiding time-consuming pricing delays, ensuring critical research is published as quickly as possible.


Christine Orr, Sales Director, Ringgold


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