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What is the difference between a domain and an organisation?


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.

A domain will have one or more accounts with an owner or admin role

*Sometimes a consortium will be several domains


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 (owner).

An organisation may have zero or more accounts with an admin role. It cannot have any accounts with an owner role. 

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.

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