Requiring ORCID in Publication Workflows: Open Letter

Major publishers have committed to requiring ORCID iDs in the publishing process for their journals and invite other publishers to do the same.

In November, 2015, a group of publishers asked ORCID to help facilitate communications about their plans to require authors to use an ORCID iD, including hosting this open letter explaining their rationale, developing best practices for using iDs in publishing, and maintaining the signatory list.  The publishers’ goal is to encourage others to join them in supporting the adoption of ORCID. Publishers signing this open letter are committing to requiring ORCID iDs during 2016 following specific implementation standards.

Why Require ORCID?

ORCID provides a digital name – or iD – that uniquely and persistently identifies researchers and contributors. By connecting this iD to different research activities and affiliations across multiple research information platforms, ORCID helps enable recognition and reduce reporting burdens for researchers. It also enhances the discovery process and lays the foundation for trust in a digital research environment. Crossref’s recently launched Auto-Update functionality – which (with researcher permission) updates an author’s ORCID record when the author uses their iD during the publishing process – further benefits researchers by alleviating the need to re-enter publication data in multiple systems. Importantly, it also provides an independent assertion of the connection between the author and their work.  

With more than 3,000 journals already collecting ORCID iDs from corresponding authors, through all major manuscript submission systems, publishers are in a unique position to facilitate widespread adoption of ORCID. Indeed, researchers are most likely to encounter ORCID in publishing systems: about 75% of registrations occur because journals are asking authors to include their ORCID in new submissions. Researchers are also increasingly encountering ORCID in their university systems, and funders including the Wellcome Trust and EMBO have begun to require the use of ORCID in grant application systems.

In a recent survey of ~6,000 people (mostly researchers) carried out by ORCID, more than 70% said they would welcome compulsory use of ORCID iDs in publishing workflows. From January 2016, several publishers will be requiring the use of ORCID iDs by corresponding authors during the publication process and are inviting other publishers to do the same. This initiative will further speed the implementation of ORCID, support its use by researchers, and illustrate to the research community the benefits of a co-ordinated identifier-based approach to research information management.

Implementation Standard

There are implementation guidelines for publishers who wish to sign this letter. The following minimum standard of implementation ensures the collection of ORCID IDs is efficient, adheres to best practices, and reduces the burden on researchers:

  1. Require. ORCID iDs are required for corresponding authors of published papers, with the understanding that ORCID iD collection should be enabled as an option for all authors and should ideally take place at submission.
  2. Collect. The collection of ORCID iDs is done via the ORCID API (authenticated ORCID iDs), meaning that authors are not asked to type in or search for their iD.
  3. Auto-update. Publisher Crossref DOI metadata is updated to include ORCID iDs for authors, so that Crossref Auto-update can be implemented. The ORCID iD DOI metadata includes the attribute indicating whether the iD was collected using the API (authenticated).
  4. Publish. Author/co-author ORCID iDs are embedded into article metadata, at least in online versions, and ideally in print versions of the publication.  At a minimum the ORCID iD logo should be displayed next to the name of each author who has connected their iD; in online versions and metadata, the author name should be hyperlinked to the appropriate ORCID iD directly or via a landing page.  


This is a living document; if you are a publisher and have plans to require ORCID, please use this webform to be added as a signatory.



We, the following journals and publishers, starting in 2016 shall be requiring ORCID iDs for authors, according to the best practices laid out above.  We encourage other publishers to join us in this initiative. We hope that our action inspires the community, including researchers, research funders, and research institutions, to join us in adopting ORCID and making it easy for researchers to connect their iD to their contributions and affiliations.

Journal or Publisher Sign Date Effective Date of Requirement Signatory
The Royal Society 1 January 2016 1 January 2016 Stuart Taylor ORCID iD Logo 16x16
Publishing Director
PLOS 1 January 2016   Elizabeth Marincola ORCID iD logo 16 x 16
Chief Executive Officer
eLife 1 January 2016 7 January 2016 Mark Patterson ORCID iD logo 16 x 16
Executive Director
EMBO Press 1 January 2016 24 February 2016 Bernd Pulverer ORCID iD logo 16 x 16
Head of Scientific Publications
American Geophysical Union 1 January 2016 1 March 2016 Brooks Hanson ORCID iD Logo 16 x 16
Publishing Director
IEEE 1 January 2016 11 July 2016 Sheila Hemami ORCID iD logo 16 x 16
Director & Vice President, Publication Services and Products
Hindawi 1 January 2016 1 July 2016 Paul Peters ORCID iD logo 16 x 16
Chief Executive Officer
Science journals 1 January 2016 11 March 2016 Marcia McNutt ORCID iD logo 16 x 16
ScienceOpen 7 January 2016 May 2014 Stephanie Dawson ORCID iD logo 16 x 16
Chief Executive Officer
Frontiers 7 January 2016   Kamila Markram ORCID iD logo 16 x 16
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
JMIR Publications 8 January 2016 2014 Gunther Eysenbach ORCID iD logo 16 x 16
Editor & Publisher
Grupo Cominicar Ediciones 8 January 2016   Carmen Fonseca-Mora ORCID iD logo 16 x 16
International Co-Editor
Military Technical Courier 8 January 2016   Nebojsa Gacesa ORCID iD logo 16 x 16
The Company of Biologists 14 January 2016   Claire Moulton 
IDEA (Instituto de Estudios Avanzados) de la Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH) 18 January 2016   Manuel Loyola Tapia 
Faculty of 1000 15 February 2016   Rebecca Lawrence
Japan Epidemiological Association 14 April 2016 1 August 2016 Prof. Hiroyasu Iso
Rockefeller University Press 27 May 2016   Robert O'Donnell 
Director of Publishing Technologies  
The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery 25 July 2016 1 January 2017 Jason Miller 
Executive Publisher  
Skyfox Publishing 19 October 2016   Katharine de BergmanORCID iD Logo 16x16
Managing Editor