Dimensions is comprised of a worldwide collection of organization data focused on academic research with content in Dimensions. Each organization has its own unique identifier, the GRID ID. Each unique Dimensions record of an organization also contains relevant metadata, as well as relationships between associated organizations.

As organizations are subject to change, and also our inclusion and curation policies are developing over time, not necessarily all records comply with the latest version of our policies. These policies, however, are used when reviewing existing and adding new records to Dimensions.

Overall principles for including organization records in Dimensions

  • The organization is notable in the academic world. It is associated with academic research in some way (for example through conducting, funding or publishing research).
  • The organization is independent. It needs to operate as an independent (e.g. legal) entity.
  • The organization is active. It needs to be an established entity in the academic world and have a certain degree of continuity.

Organizations are added to Dimensions guided by a data-driven approach, which is based on the organization's associated, research-related data (e.g. publications, grants, patents, etc.) actually being available and represented in Dimensions.

Dimensions only includes the root organization level, meaning that internal structures such as university departments, faculties, schools, colleges, etc., or companies' subsidiaries are not represented separately in Dimensions, and all research outputs related to them are resolved to the root organization.

Dimensions aims to provide a contemporary view of research organizations rather than reflect historical developments or changes.

Specifications derived from overall principles

Since research organizations are heterogenous, we are using special rules applied to the different types of research organizations.

Rules derived from the Independence criteria

General rule: university departments, faculties, schools, colleges, etc., or company subsidiaries, are represented in Dimensions by their respective parent organization.

Independence is determined from organizations' own descriptions (for example on organizational websites), but is also based on how the organizations are being referenced in research outputs.

Hospitals / Healthcare

University hospitals are affiliated to their respective university.

Education-related healthcare institutes, e.g. teaching hospitals, are treated as organizations in their own right, separate from the related educational institution.

University systems

University systems and their constituent members are treated as separate entities.

Companies / corporate organizations

Subsidiary companies are mapped to the owning company's record.

Local branches are aggregated to the country level, with the country name added to the organization's name (e.g. "OrgName (Germany)").

Historical companies are mapped to the record of the current or most recent owner.

"Super institutes"

"Super institutes" refer to large organizations (often government agencies, funding bodies, or NGOs) that contain many institutes or facilities within a hierarchy of two or more levels. A few examples are: the German Fraunhofer Society or the National Science Foundation in the US. The following defining criteria apply:

  • There's a formal parent organization that at the top of the grouping
  • The individual members or sub-organizations act as independent entities
  • There's a hierarchy (parent - child - sub-child, etc.)
  • It is an official group of organizations

The members of super institutes are added to Dimensions with a relation to the parent organization(s).

For very large government agencies records for members are provided, e.g. the U.S. Department of Energy

In case a joint institution has independent parent organizations, is recognized as an independent entity and acts as such, a separate record is being created (example: Broad Institute).

Rules derived from the Continuity principle

Mergers & Acquisitions: In case an organization is taken over by or has become a predecessor of another organization (another organization who acts as a kind of successor) we redirect the record to the one of its successor.

In case an organization gets discontinued and becomes historical, a close date is added to the record.

For a newly founded, notable organization a new record can be created (usually on request).

Records for purely historic organizations are not added to Dimensions.

Rules derived from the Notability principle

A data-driven approach is used to individually assess each candidate organization, and an informed decision is made on the importance to the academic landscape. For this, our team is using different high-quality, trusted, research-related data (e.g. publication metadata, grants metadata).


Companies need to have a substantial weight in the research domain.