Penguins, Patents, Pianos, and More - All About #ORCID16

Alice Meadows's picture

Our first Australian Outreach Meeting took place on February 15-16 and attracted over 110 delegates for a mix of panels, presentations, lightning talks, and demos, as well as the first ORCID town hall meeting, and the launch of the Australian national consortium.

If you weren’t at the meeting, you might be surprised to learn that penguins were a running theme throughout, inspired by an ORCID team visit to Phillip Island, where we saw dozens of little (‘fairy’) penguins make their way by moonlight from the ocean up to their burrows several hundred yards away.  Executive Director, Laure Haak, compared the collaboration, cooperation, and perseverance of the Australian ORCID working group who launched the consortium to that of the penguins – and the analogy stuck!

Patents were also a topic of great interest and discussion, thanks to an inspiring presentation by Osmat Jefferson of The Lens, about their efforts to create an open database of patent holders and patent/non-patent citations, searchable by ORCID iDs.  Among other things, she stressed the need to shift from focusing on how many patents a researcher has to how influential those patents have been. Her slides make for very interesting reading.

As for the pianos, they (literally) played an important role in the closing keynote by Andrew Brown, Head of Music Technology and Professor of Digital Arts at Griffith University. He gave a fascinating and thought-provoking view of some of the challenges facing scholars working in the performing arts, where traditional methods of evaluation and impact are largely irrelevant and/or not applicable.  Along the way, he treated us to a video of one of his performances, in which he was live coding two digital player pianos, as an example of some of these challenges.

And of course there was much, much more besides, including:

-    an excellent opening panel, chaired by Michelle Duryea of Edith Cowan University, on ORCID at Scale, including the need to establish and communicate clear benefits for researchers as well as for their organizations – another recurring theme of the meeting

-    practical advice on launching a national consortium, based on the Australian experience, and covering responsibilities and roles, communications and engagement, and technical support

-    overviews of how Digital Science, Elsevier, and Thomson Reuters have each integrated ORCID into multiple systems and platforms, including a look at the new releases of Converis and Pure, and a sneak preview of plans for Symplectic Elements version 5

-    updates from Aidan Byrne, Australian Research Council (ARC) and Alan Singh, National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) on why and how they support ORCID, with the key goal being to achieve a real reduction in the reporting burden for their grantees

-    ORCID news, including the launch of our new Collect & Connect program, intended to help improve the quality and efficiency of ORCID integrations and to improve understanding – by ORCID, our members, and the scholarly community at large – of why and how ORCID is being implemented in researcher workflows (more on this in a future blog post)

-    a non-technical, plain English introduction to the ORCID API, enabling anyone to understand how it works

-    lightning talks showcasing ORCID integrations in research information management systems, and in publishing, patent, and other systems (a great way to find out who’s doing what with ORCID)

-    energetic and informative panel discussions on ORCID interoperability across sectors (moderated by Ross Wilkinson of ANDS) and ORCID in Asia Pacific (moderated by Nobuko Miyairi of ORCID)

Links to all available slide decks and videos can be found on the program page, and feedback so far shows that attendees found the meeting as productive and valuable as we did. So – thank you Australia and we’ll be back!