2016: The Year in Review

laura paglione's picture

Our mantra for 2016 was Sustain, Lead and Mature - a steady beat that helped focus our efforts throughout the year. It has been a full year with much growth and activity for ORCID, and we made great progress in all three areas.


This year’s 50% increase in new ORCID iDs has brought us to a total of 2.9 million active iDs that can be used in over 500 systems worldwide. ORCID users also benefited from updates to the ORCID record interface, including fine-tuned control over the visibility of personal information such as alternate names and email addresses, and more complete information about the source of information on their record.

We now have 601 member organizations financially supporting our mission, up 29% from 465 this time last year. Many joined through one of our seven new consortia deals in 2016 (doubling the total!) in Belgium, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Taiwan, as well as the LYRASIS consortium in the US.

This growth was fueled by workshops in over 15 countries, as well as well-attended outreach meetings in Canberra, Australia in February and Washington, DC in November.

Finally, we deeply appreciate the continued support of The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, which provided ORCID with follow-on funding in October. This generous 18-month grant is allowing us to both leverage the progress we have made engaging the community and increasing ORCID adoption, and also to ensure that our technical offering scales appropriately as we grow.


Our progress toward sustainability is underpinned by our commitment to leadership. In January, eight publishers signed an open letter committing their organizations to requiring iDs and adhering to ORCID’s best practices for doing so. They have since been joined by a further 17, including most recently two major societies - the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry - and one of the world’s largest scholarly publishers, Wiley.

We also focused on increasing awareness of iDs and their use, including:

We also partnered with many organizations throughout the year to help progress topics related to ORCID’s work, including:

  • PIDapalooza: We worked with California Digital Library, Crossref, and DataCite on this new conference promoting persistent identifiers in general, which brought together 120 people involved in creating and using PIDs.
  • Peer Review Week: We helped organize the second annual Peer Review Week, working with representatives from 25+ other organizations to draw attention to recognition of this important activity.
  • Organization Identifiers: WIth Crossref and DataCite, we are leading a community effort to better understand the needs around organization identifiers, including helping to form a working group on the topic that will convene in early 2017.


2016 saw us holding our first Board election, a sure sign of ORCID’s increasing maturity as an organization. We were greatly encouraged by the significant participation by our organizational members, and look forward to welcoming our six newly-elected members to their three-year terms on our 15-person board in the new year.

We also developed an important new program, ORCID Trust, that strengthened the work we had already done in ensuring user control and strong privacy/dispute procedures. We extended this work to include recognition of our obligations to the community in terms of sustainability, business model, and governance, and information about how we enable trusted connections between individuals and their contributions and affiliations.

Finally, we have started the process of increasing ORCID interoperability by enabling alternate methods for signing into ORCID using Facebook, Google, or a university/institutional account.

Planning for the year to come

Our 2017 roadmap activities are organized around the same three pillars: Sustain, Lead and Mature. Much of this work will be extending and strengthening the work of 2016, and we also plan to build our capabilities and resiliency as an organization in order to be able to better respond to change, the opportunities that come our way, and the expectations of the community. We will share more of these plans in early 2017.

Until then, thank you to our team, our Board, our members, iD holders and the ORCID community for another fantastic and full year. We wish you all the hope and happiness of the season.