Frequently Asked Questions


What does "ORCID" stand for?

ORCID is an acronym, short for Open Researcher and Contributor ID.

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What is ORCID, Inc.?

ORCID is an international, interdisciplinary, open, and not-for-profit organization created in 2010 for the benefit of all stakeholders, including research organizations, research funders, organizations, publishers, and researchers.

We aim to transform the research ecosystem by providing a registry of persistent unique identifiers for researchers and scholars and automating linkages to research objects such as publications, grants, and patents.

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What is the organizational structure of ORCID, Inc.?

ORCID is governed by an elected Board of Directors.   Membership in the Board of Directors is drawn from ORCID member organizations.  The Board is responsible for establishing general policies for the governance of ORCID, based on a set of core principles, among them openness and transparency. In addition to the Board of Directors, ORCID has several Working Groups that are open to participation by the research community.  ORCID is served by a professional staff, led by an Executive Director. For more information, see the ORCID Team page

 

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What are the ORCID Principles?

The ORCID principles were published in December 2010. They guide ORCID as it grows and operates. The principles confirm our commitment to open data and open source, global participation, and respect for the privacy of individual researchers.

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Who may register for an ORCID identifier?

You may register for an ORCID identifier at http://orcid.org. Registration is free and fast: you need only enter your name and email address and create a password.  You need not have an official affiliation and there is no set of requirements to qualify as a researcher.  

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Is there a fee to register for an ORCID? Do I need to be a member to register?

One of the ORCID principles is that individuals should be able to use the Registry without any member fee.  In keeping with this, registration for an ORCID ID is free and requires only that you agree to ORCID's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You need not have an official affiliation and there is no set of requirements to qualify as a researcher. Maintenance of your record, sharing your data, and searching the registry are also free.  You may register for an ORCID identifier at http://orcid.org.

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How do I become an ORCID Member? Are there fees involved?

ORCID membership is for those organizations with plans to integrate ORCID identifiers into local systems or processes.  Individuals may register for an ORCID ID and use the Registry without charge or membership.  For more information on membership, benefits, and fees, please see our Membership Page

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How does ORCID handle privacy?

Researcher privacy is important to ORCID, and we believe that following research community-sanctioned privacy practices is essential to the success of ORCID.  We are committed to providing you with meaningful choices about your privacy and the ability to control how your information is used.  A core ORCID principle is that you control the privacy settings of your own ORCID Record data through various opt-in and opt-out features, regardless of whether you create your own ORCID Record, or an ORCID Record is created on your behalf by your employer. To that end, ORCID allows you the right to control how your information is published on and shared via the ORCID Registry.  For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

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What are ORCID data security policies?

We are committed to protect the security of information stored in the ORCID Registry. We may store and process information on servers or in a cloud located outside of the country where you originally deposited the data. Regardless of where we store and process data, our data security processes and policies are consistent with the principles set forth in the Safe Harbor Principles issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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What can I do if I have concerns about data in the Registry?

To ensure the transparency of the ORCID Registry, we keep an audit trail of when and by whom Registry information has been deposited or changed and any changes to privacy settings.  ORCID will use this information to assist you in addressing concerns about the provenance of data in the Registry and questions about identity ambiguity or theft.   If you have a concern about the accuracy of data in your ORCID Record or another ORCID Record, please submit a Record Data Report.  We will review your concerns in accordance our Dispute Procedures.  

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What technology powers ORCID?

The ORCID Registry uses a PostgreSQL database, and we employ a SOLR search engine. Our software is developed using JAVA, and is released under an MIT Open Source Software license and distributed on GitHub at https://github.com/ORCID/ORCID-Source. ORCID APIs use RESTful Web services, and responses are in XML and JSON.  The ORCID Registry is hosted on Rackspace. Our database table structure, APIs, sample code, documentation, and a sandbox are available for developers to test integration.  For more information see our Knowledge Base at http://support.orcid.org.

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Is ORCID interoperable with national, institutional, and other identity systems?

ORCID allows and encourages users to link their ORCID record to other identifiers.  For example, researchers can link their Scopus Author ID to ORCID, or link to ORCID from their ResearcherID record, and in both cases synchronize publication data with their ORCID record. The ORCID identifier structure is compatible with the ISO 277729 standard established by International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI).

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What is the relationship between ISNI and ORCID?

ORCID and ISNI are separate organizations that address different aspects of unambiguously identifying people and parties. The background, context and goals of each organization are distinct.

ORCID was established to solve the problem of accurate attribution of scholarly research output to individual researchers. The ORCID system is based on collaboration amongst publishers, universities, funding bodies, researchers, and other stakeholders in scholarly communications. ORCID is committed to allowing individual researchers to create, claim, manage and control the privacy of their data or to optionally delegate the management of their data to their university or another third party. 

Because ORCID and ISNI have different purposes and serve different communities both organizations are necessary. The organizations will each hold different data, have different privacy and ownership rules for data, have different business models and offer different services. Most importantly of all, ISNI and ORCID will be identifying different things for different communities.

ORCID is committed to being interoperable with other identifier schemes, including ISNI. To this end, ORCID and ISNI are coordinating their efforts where they overlap in the research and scholarship communities.   ORCID identifiers utilize a format compliant with the ISNI ISO standard. ISNI has reserved a block of identifiers for use by ORCID, so there will be no overlaps in assignments. The organizations are working together to consider additional opportunities for collaboration.

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How do I or how does my organization get involved with ORCID?

You or your colleagues may register for an ORCID ID and create and ORCID record.  You are welcome to participate in an ORCID Working Group and support our outreach, membership, or technical developments.  Your organization may become a member of ORCID and integrate ORCID identifiers into key research workflows. With membership also comes the opportunity to nominate an organizational representative to serve on the ORCID Board.

 

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How often does ORCID hold community outreach meetings?

ORCID supports bi-annual outreach meetings for ORCID members and other interested parties to learn about new features and discuss plans and priorities. Participants can attend virtually via WebEx.  See the News section of the ORCID Website for information on upcoming and past meetings.

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How do I stay in touch with the latest developments?

The best way to keep in touch with ORCID activities and developments is by checking the News section of our website for periodic updates. Interested individuals can also follow the ORCID Twitter account.  To learn more about technical developments and resources, please see our Knowledge Base

 

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What is the relationship between the ORCID Initiative and ORCID, Inc.?

Following the 'Name Identifier Summit' in November 2009, where a cross-section of the research community explored approaches to address name ambiguity, the ORCID initiative was announced in December 2009. The ORCID Initiative was an interim entity formed to explore these approaches, and ORCID, Inc. is the formal non-profit organization incorporated in August 2010 to apply the ideas produced by these explorations toward practically addressing the problem of name ambiguity.

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