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Having confidence that ORCID will:
  • Remain an open organization
  • Persist as an service
  • Be transparent when things don’t go as planned and enable users to fix things that aren’t right

Along with our users, our members - organizations in the research community - drive our growth. We make ourselves accountable to those who use and support ORCID activities through our non-profit status, membership-based sustainability model, community governance, and data dispute procedures.

We won’t be sold

As a membership organization, we are by design responsive to our community. In addition to being committed to openness and accessibility, ORCID is an independent not-for-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization registered in the United States. As such, we are subject to US laws and regulations governing charitable entities, including the requirements that we must be organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes and our activities cannot impermissibly benefit private interests. There are significant restrictions built into our governance structure and policies to ensure that ORCID remains true to its nonprofit mission. Our bylaws require approval of the members to alter our commitment to free use for researchers, change in organizational structure, or sale or transfer of all or substantially all of our assets. In addition, our membership agreement forbids us from transferring the ORCID Registry or its operation without the consent of the members, except to a non-profit entity that is able to fulfil our existing commitments to members and to our Privacy Policy. Finally, our Privacy Policy requires us to provide you as the ORCID iD holder and data subject with the option to opt-out of any transfer of data to a third party in the case of a merger, sale or other corporate restructuring, and this requirement cannot be changed without your consent.

The Registry is here to stay!

Our goal is for our day-to-day operations to be 100% supported by membership dues and, thanks to community support, we are on track to become self-sustaining in 2017. While we are building our membership base, we have received support in the form of long term community loans (due to be repaid starting in 2021) and subawards from the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the US National Science Foundation, and grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Leona M and Harry B Helmsley Trust.

We have monthly financial reviews by an external accountant and our Executive Committee, and we undergo an annual audit of our financial activities. We post an annual report on our website, and our US Internal Revenue Service Form 990 annual tax filings are publicly available.


We are grounded by 10 principles that guide our work. These principles emphasize our commitment to respecting the privacy and data-sharing needs of our users and to being a reliable, inclusive, and open partner with the research community. To ensure we abide by these principles, we are governed by a volunteer Board.

The ORCID Board of Directors, as per our bylaws, is elected from our membership and the majority must be from non-profit organizations. We endeavor to ensure that Board membership is balanced by region and community sector, and we reserve up to two seats on the Board for non-member researchers. Our Nominating Committee receives recommendations and, beginning in 2016, all members may participate in elections, carried out by electronic ballot in November.

The ORCID Principle that researchers are able to create an ORCID iD and edit and maintain an ORCID record free of charge is enshrined in our bylaws, and any proposed change to that provision needs to be approved not only by the Board of Directors, but also by our members. More than 70% of ORCID members are research performing organizations or funders, placing the future of ORCID squarely under their control.

Handling disputes

We have established policies about how information is associated with an ORCID iD, and how the information contained in an ORCID Record can be challenged. Further, all items attached to an ORCID iD contain a “source” and date field that shows the provenance of that information. Other than the iD holder and any trusted individuals to whom they grant access, only ORCID members - all of whom have agreed to our privacy and openness principles - may request user permission to write to ORCID Records. We have a set of dispute procedures that outline how we handle reports of incorrect data, and transparently involve all parties to address the issue.

Transparency and notification

If you have specific questions about our security practices, please contact us.

Trust is built on understanding, and understanding requires transparency. You can always access and review the data in your ORCID record and its source. We notify users and ORCID members if our policies or practices change or if something happens that presents a challenge to our privacy and security commitments.

  • Security breaches. Should non-public data be released, either due to an internal or external challenge to the system, ORCID will endeavor to notify affected users and members within 24 hours of the breach. We will describe the issue, provide information on how it is being or has been addressed, and indicate what action should be taken by users, if any.
  • Government requests. Should ORCID receive any data requests from governments, we will consult with our legal team to make sure such requests satisfy legal requirements and ORCID policies. Unless prohibited by law or court order, ORCID will notify users about legal demands when appropriate.