Plans for Enabling Multiple Assertions in the ORCID Registry

laura paglione's picture

MAWG Logo​ORCID provides an open Registry of unique researcher identifiers, and we work collaboratively with the research community to enable linkages between these identifiers and other identifier schemes and systems.  The ORCID Registry stores metadata that indicates the source of information (for example, the individual or a search and link wizard). In June 2013, ORCID formed the Multiple Assertions Working Group (MAWG), to explore the use cases, implications, processes and policies for enabling and exposing assertions from third parties. For example, how might ORCID handle information about connections between ORCID iDs and related work or researcher activities that are made by someone other than the researcher, usually an organization. The MAWG, chaired by Simeon Warner of Cornell University, recently finalized their recommendations, and today we announce our plans to enable verification of these linkages by third-parties, to enhance trust and value for researchers and the community.

In exploring the topic, the MAWG looked at several use cases to guide their recommendations including:

  • Indication of duplicate ORCID iDs - providing feedback when someone suspects that two iDs refer to the same person.
  • Validated affiliations - enabling authoritative sources to validate connections between an ORCID iD and an education or employment affiliation.
  • Researcher publishing under more than one iD - enabling consolidation of iDs and clarification of links
  • Refuted affiliations / declined claim of authorship - providing feedback when corrections may be needed on an ORCID iD.

MAWG considered these use case on their own merits and within the context of ORCID's privacy policy and terms of use. They recommended types of assertions ORCID should and shouldn't support, and processes for managing disagreements about information. MAWG considered how to handle provenance, how updates to the ORCID Record should be supported, what levels of assertion granularity best address the needs in the use cases, who can make assertions, and how communication with ORCID iD owners should be managed. The group also recommends what API queries should be supported, and how assertion information should be displayed in the ORCID Record and in the API.

The recommendations include

  • Support grouping of related information in an ORCID Record - When there is information from different sources about the same paper, data set , or other research activity, have the ORCID system group the data to reduce or eliminate separate entries within an ORCID Record. 
  • Enable automatic updates - enable researchers to allow automatic update of their ORCID Record by organizations they trust.
  • Enable support for validated claims by researchers - Enable organizations to validate information that a researcher stores in his or her ORCID Record. For example, validation of a degree by the research institution conferring the degree, or validation of an appointment by the organization employing the scholar.
  • Increase support for identifying and resolving ORCID iDs that refer to the same person - provide additional support and processes for individuals and organizations to inform ORCID of suspected duplicate iDs.
  • Explore refuted claims - explore ways to communicate disagreements about claims to help facilitate their resolution.

We are creating implementation plans to implement the recommendation from the MAWG, and expect to have several pieces of the recommendation implemented before the end of the year. The ORCID team has already begun work on supporting groups of related information, and will be seeking beta testers in July to help refine this new interface. If you are interested in becoming a beta tester, please let us know by filling out the Beta Tester Request form.

The full report can be found at the Multiple Assertions Working Group (MAWG) page.

Many thanks to the MAWG members for their contributions of time and expertise: