ORCID at scale

JoshBrown's picture

As ORCID adoption grows, its value becomes more clear in connecting, improving, and accelerating the flow of research and scholarly information. With more than 1.3M iDs issued and 200 live integrations, exciting new developments are leveraging the advantages of ORCID at scale, bringing the value of ORCID to whole countries.

In the last month, the UK, Finland, and Australia have each set out their regional vision for adoption and implementation of ORCID iDs across the research sector. These announcements reflect uses of ORCID iDs to address both overlapping and unique policy and practical needs.

In the UK, the independent review of the RCUK Open Access Policy recommended that the seven UK Research Councils mandate the use of ORCID iDs in grant application processes. This will make it much easier to connect articles and datasets to grants from the councils, helping researchers to comply with Open Access and data management policies, and helping to record the impact of research. The review also recommended that more publishers incorporate ORCID and FundRef identifiers into their manuscript submissions and published article metadata. This would enable automatic updating of researchers’ ORCID records. Jisc saw the value in these automatic updates for institutions seeking to monitor and report their compliance with funders’ Open Access policies, and set out a brilliant, practical set of suggestions for what can be done right now to make this happen.

The IT Centre for Science (CSC) in Finland have proposed a nationally coordinated approach. The goals of this approach are twofold: 1) to improve the visibility of researchers and their outputs even when names may be expressed in different ways, and 2) to improve the visibility of data between the systems that researchers use. This will mean that the same data can be automatically reused in more than one location, saving researchers from re-entering information and improving data accuracy. To help facilitate this exchange they are considering the connection of ORCID iDs to the federated identity system used nationwide. The proposal points out that by building this national connection service, they will be able to avoid the risk of each organisation having to implement this connection service separately. Their approach also echoes one of our core principles: that the researcher is in control of their own ORCID record.

Australia has presented a Joint Statement of Principle endorsing national adoption of ORCID, from a partnership between the Australian National Data Service, Universities Australia, the Council of Australian University Librarians and the Australasian Research Management Society. As well as recognising the value of ORCID in reducing red tape, improving data quality, and other efficiency gains, the statement cites the benefits in enhanced global visibility for researchers and their research from using ORCID iDs. This builds  on an announcement from the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council encouraging researchers to register for an iD.

Each of these national approaches builds on work from right across the research community. It uses infrastructure components from CrossRef and DataCite, and takes advantage of work done at the national level, such as by the FCT in Portugal, Jisc and ARMA in the UK, and by the Sloan-funded Adoption and Integration program in North America. In Italy, the chance to improve integration with national systems using ORCID iDs is seen as a vital step forward. Susanna Mornati, Head of International Business Development at CINECA, said that "CINECA is implementing ORCID iDs in our IRIS CRIS solution so that the many universities using IRIS can benefit from the improved connections and data quality that ORCID can bring. It also means that as ORCID iDs are integrated into Italian national systems, we will be ready to deliver even more efficiency."

These partners and pioneers have shown conclusively that implementing unique identifiers across multiple systems opens up many benefits for anyone who relies on information about research, and that as the implementations scale up, so do the benefits.