This server provides OpenRefine reconciliation
services for the following data sources:
- VIAF - Virtual International Authority File
- ORCID - digital identifiers for researchers
- Open Library - an open, editable library catalog (a project of the Internet Archive)
- more to come...
You can use these services to resolve many types of names
(i.e. persons, organizations, geographic regions, book titles) to standard
IDs representing those entities.
Please keep your usage within reasonable limits (say, a few
thousand requests a day), to avoid a) taxing my server and b)
pissing off the data sources which this service queries. If your
needs are greater, consider hosting your own service. See
This project is not affiliated with OpenRefine, VIAF, or
ORCID. I make no guarantees about availability, the accuracy of
the data transmitted, or anything else that can go wrong in
life. Use at your own risk.
How to Use This Service
- In OpenRefine, select "Reconcile" and "Start
Reconciling..." in the pull-down menu beside a column
whose values you want to reconcile.
- Click "Add Standard Service..."
- Type in the relevant URL from below, depending on the
data source you want to use.
- To reconcile against names from any VIAF source, type
- OR, to reconcile against a specific VIAF source, add its
code to the end of the path. For example, to search only names
from the Bibliothèque nationale de France, type
- OR, to retrieve the IDs used by source institutions,
rather than VIAF IDs, use "proxy mode." For example, to search
only names from the Library of Congress and retrieve their
IDs, type in:
- To reconcile against names from ORCID, type
Using Open Library
- To reconcile against names from Open Library, type
- On the reconciliation screen, under the "Also use relevant
details from other columns" panel, you can check the
"Include?" box for columns to include in the query. Give
them any name in the "As Property" box. If no results are
found with these column values added to the query, the
service will try again with only the original selected
News and Updates
Apr 2017 - Added the Open Library data source.
Oct 2016 - Now running conciliator, which supercedes the refine_viaf project. For details, see this blog post.
Jul 2016 - Now running v1.5 with fix for "too many requests" errors from VIAF.
Jun 2016 - Now running v1.4 with new "proxy mode" feature added.
May 2016 - Now running v1.3 with caching.
Apr 2016 - This service now runs v1.2
which calculates scores for results based on a name's similarity to the search string. Previously, all results
had a score of 1.
Dec 2015 - The software that runs this service has changed. For
details, please read this page.
The source code for this service is
github repository. Feel free to host your own