Get single entities
Get a single entity, based on an ID
See the API overview for info on rate-limits, authentication, etc.
It's easy to get a singleton entity object from from the API:/<entity_name>/<entity_id>. Here's an example:
That will return a Work object, describing everything OpenAlex knows about the work with that ID. You can use IDs other than OpenAlex IDs, and you can also format the IDs in different ways. Read below to learn more.
You can make up to 50 of these queries at once by requesting a list of entities and filtering on IDs using OR syntax.
To get a single entity, you need a single unambiguous identifier, like an ORCID or an OpenAlex ID. If you've got an ambiguous identifier (like an author's name), you'll want to search instead.

Merged Entity IDs

At times we need to merge two Entities, effectively deleting one of them. This usually happens when we discover two Entities that represent the same real-world entity - for example, two Authors that are really the same person.
If you request an Entity using its OpenAlex ID, and that Entity has been merged into another Entity, you will be redirected to the Entity it has been merged into. For example, https://openalex.org/A2224836008 has been merged into https://openalex.org/A2208157607, so in the API the former will redirect to the latter:
$ curl -i https://api.openalex.org/authors/A2224836008
HTTP/1.1 301 MOVED PERMANENTLY
Location: https://api.openalex.org/authors/A2208157607
Most clients will handle this transparently; you'll get the data for author A2208157607 without knowing the redirect even happened. If you have stored Entity ID lists and do notice the redirect, you might as well replace the merged-away ID to skip the redirect next time.

Supported IDs

For each entity type, you can retrieve the entity using by any of the external IDs we support--not just the native OpenAlex IDs. So for example:
This works with DOIs, ISSNs, ORCIDs, and lots of other IDs...in fact, you can use any ID listed in an entity's ids property, as listed below:

ID formats

Most of the external IDs OpenAlex supports are canonically expressed as URLs...for example, the canonical form of a DOI always starts with https://doi.org/. You can always use these URL-style IDs in the entity endpoints. Examples:
For simplicity and clarity, you may also want to express those IDs in a simpler, URN-style format, and that's supported as well; you just write the namespace of the ID, followed by the ID itself. Here are the same examples from above, but in the namespace:id format:
Finally, if you're using an OpenAlex ID, you can be even more succinct, and just use the Key part of the ID all by itself, the part that looks like w1234567:

Random entity

You can get a random entity by using the string random where an ID would normally go. OMG that's so random! Each time you call this URL you'll get a different entity. Examples:
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Merged Entity IDs
Supported IDs
ID formats
Random entity