Natasha Simons's picture

Back in April, I wrote a post about the high level of interest and enthusiasm for ORCID in the Australian research community, which resulted in a Joint Statement of Principle by members of the ORCID Working Group. The Statement identifies the benefits of the ORCID initiative to researchers, institutions and the nation, noting “…the full benefits of ORCID are conditioned upon a broad adoption by the sector, the development of systems and business processes that can utilize ORCID. A fragmented and uncoordinated approach can diminish the dividend on investment”.

Since then, we have been working to develop an Australian ORCID Consortium Model, which was released for comment and expressions of interest on August 13. The Model was developed by the ORCID Working Group comprised of representatives from Universities Australia (UA), Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), Australasian Research Management Society (ARMS), Australian National Data Service (ANDS), Australian Access Federation (AAF) and the Council of Australian University Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT). Two major funders of Australian research - Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) - also provided input to the Working Group.

The initial aim is to establish an ORCID Consortium with a minimum of 20 Australian institutional members (plus the Consortium Host). Membership will be open to eligible Australian institutions including current ORCID members and those yet to join. The Model is designed to maximize the benefits of ORCID within each institution and, as part of the Consortium, all member institutions will have access to full features of premium ORCID membership for a substantially reduced fee. In addition, the Consortium Model aims to provide flexibility to its members in terms of the implementation and rollout of ORCID within each institution. The Australian Access Federation has agreed in principle to be the Consortium Host (subject to due diligence, which is currently underway).

The Consortium will continue to leverage the capabilities and resources of ANDS and CAUL to further develop and improve the community of practice in research management and around ORCID adoption in particular. To date this has included two national ORCID roundtables and a series of webinars featuring local and international speakers sharing their experiences of ORCID rollout (see ANDS YouTube Channel, ORCID playlist). Future plans include more webinars, an ORCID workshop and ORCID Birds of a Feather session at the eResearch Australasia conference featuring Dr Laurel Haak, ORCID Executive Director, as guest speaker.

The Australian ORCID Consortium Model documents are available here. Expressions of interest close on 14 September 2015.

Linda O'Brien, who represents CAUL on the ORCID working group said, “This initiative provides an exciting step in raising the profile of Australia's research and researchers. By uniquely identifying our researchers we can unleash the power of the semantic web to link researchers, research grants, research outputs and potentially research impacts. CAUL is delighted to be part of this process and committed to making Australia's research discoverable to increase its application and impact.”  And Dr Ross Wilkinson, Executive Director of ANDS, added: "“Its great to see the interest in taking a national approach to researcher identification - it's both more efficient, and provides a better research system. From a data perspective, it makes it really easy for researchers to identify their research data contributions, and link them to their publications.”