Why You Need an ORCID iD Now

December 1, 2016 Kelly Neubeiser


Wiley recently signed ORCID’s Open Letter, becoming the first major publisher to require ORCID iDs as a condition for submission.

By now, most of you are probably familiar with ORCID, a nonprofit providing unique and persistent digital identifiers to all who participate in research, scholarship and innovation. Why is using an ORCID iD a good idea? For one, it easily connects you to your achievements and contributions, meaning no one else will get credit for your work. Second, it saves times: you can elect to have your ORCID record updated automatically each time you publish an article.

To help explain the widespread benefits of ORCID, we asked the experts: Alice Meadows, Director of Community Engagement & Support for ORCID; Edward Wates, Vice President of Content Management at Wiley, and Roger Watson, Professor of Nursing in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the University of Hull and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your experience with ORCID?

AM: I joined ORCID in May 2015 as Director of Communications and moved into my current role as Director of Community Engagement & Support in January 2016. It’s been an exciting time for the organization, with ORCID adoption and usage growing rapidly - thanks, in part, to initiatives like the ORCID open letter that Wiley has just signed.

EW: Since registering for an ORCID, I have published in several Wiley journals. I was delighted when the auto-update functionality was launched in October 2015 and my ORCID record was automatically updated with my publication details. This has saved me the effort of manually updating my record and ensures my publication record is kept up to date. I also serve as a Board member and Treasurer for ORCID, and have been highly impressed by the quality of the team and the progress we are making towards ensuring that ORCID is the default standard for author disambiguation.

RW: My experience of working with ORCID comes mainly as an author – both as someone with an ORCID record and as someone submitting to journals. As an editor-in-chief I support and encourage the use of ORCID for all manuscripts to my journal.

Q: What do you think are the three most important benefits ORCID provides to researchers?

AM: First, being able to uniquely and authoritatively connect themselves with their research contributions and affiliations irrespective of how common their name is or how many variations of it they use professionally. This makes their work more discoverable and helps ensure they get proper recognition for it. Second, having control over their ORCID record – they create their own iD, decide what to connect to it, who they allow to read and/or update their record, and which information is made publicly available, shared with trusted parties, or kept completely private. And third, saving time and reducing errors by connecting information to their record once and then having it flow into the other systems and workflows they use. Auto-update (offered by Crossref and DataCite) is especially important here as it enables researchers to opt for their ORCID record to be automatically updated every time they use their ORCID iD during the publication process.

EW: Without a doubt the ability to automatically update an author’s publication record is the main benefit at present, but future developments will also make it easier to submit articles for publication as well as enabling authors more easily to meet their funder’s requirements.

RW: First, it provides an unambiguous identity in the online environment to which career, publications and research grants can be linked. Second, it’s a webpage that can be made publicly accessible to promote your work, and also a means whereby the authenticity of your work may be verified. Third, it’s a ready-made way of uploading your details to a journal webpage in the process of submission and then linking new publications to your ORCID page.

Q: What issues does the use of ORCID iDs within your organization solve for researchers and authors?

AM: Our focus is on enabling other organizations to use ORCID to help their researchers and authors.

EW: At present there are too many manual requirements for the submission process as well as multiple log-ins to our systems. An ORCID provides robust identification for individual researchers and authors, which in turn will allow us to develop the tools to simplify the submission and publication process.

RW: If ORCID is used universally it is one less piece of information that has to be presented at appraisals and promotions. For example, simply provide your ORCID number to you line manager or the promotions committee.

Q: What is the most common concern you’ve heard when it comes to ORCID and how do you address it?

AM: Probably the most common concern we hear from researchers is that they don’t want to have to create and maintain “yet another identifier/profile system”. But in fact their ORCID iD works across multiple systems and can be connected with different identifiers. So researchers can connect their ORCID iD to the profiles they’ve already created in systems like Kudos, Mendeley, Scopus, Web of Science, and in research information management systems such as Converis, Pure, Symplectic Elements, and Vivo. So instead of being a burden, ORCID actually saves researchers time by enabling that information to flow between these different systems with minimal effort on their part.

EW: Some people express concerns about a surveillance culture and the potential misuse of confidential information. This is emphatically not the case for ORCID as authors and researchers define the privacy settings of their own ORCID record data. Trust is one of the key principles of the organization, and ORCID has put in place a number of controls, policies and practices to demonstrate its commitments in this area.

RW: Having to administer and curate another webpage is the common concern but emphasizing the overwhelming and common sense advantages of ORCID usually convinces people; also, once it is set up and you begin to use your ORCID iD when submitting manuscripts, if they are published you are prompted to link it to your ORCID page.

Q. If you could tell our readers one thing about ORCID, what would it be?

AM: Registering for an ORCID iD is very quick and easy, but that’s just the first step. So once you have an iD, please be sure to use it whenever you’re prompted to do so – by your association, funder, publisher, research institution, or any other organization.  The more you use it, the more valuable it will be to you, your organizations, and the wider research community.

EW: The widespread adoption by the community is essential if we are to alleviate the burden for authors of re-entering publication data into multiple systems. Many of the benefits for authors will be delivered by third-party integrations based around an ORCID API. These will be developed increasingly as ORCID gains more widespread appeal and traction.

RW: It’s free, it’s linked to ResearcherID, and gives you a cool QS code to put on your CV (OK, that’s three things, but ORCID is really good!)

For more information on ORCID, visit our website.

About the Author

Author Marketing, Wiley //

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