A domain represents an entire customer - e.g. an Institution, Consortium or Company - who subscribes to the OpenAthens service. You will have one or more owner accounts that can control the domain and may have some administrator accounts with fewer privileges. 

A domain will always have an entityID and unique identifiers for subscriptions.

A domain may or may not have any organisations beneath it.


An organisation represents part of a domain that has its own permission sets and user accounts. These are sometimes called sub-organisations.

An organisation might exist where a domain has regional locations, e.g. a multinational company might have offices around the world, a health service might comprise several hospitals, or a University might be spread over different campuses. In such cases there will often be accounts there with an administrator role who can administer that specific sub-organisation.

An organisation does not subscribe to OpenAthens directly - the subscription is managed by the domain administrator.

An organisation will sometimes have unique identifiers for subscriptions to enable different parts of the domain to subscribe to content separately, but will usually inherit the identifiers of the domain.

An organisation will not have its own entityID.