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Meet ORCID Publisher Member Springer Nature

Alice Meadows's picture

Alison Mitchell of Springer NatureSpringer Nature was one of ORCID's first members and is also the first major publisher to be awarded our Authenticate, Collect, Display, and Connect badges - joining a growing group of members who are meeting our Collect & Connect best practices for their integrations.  In this interview, Alison Mitchell tells us more about Springer Nature and ORCID.


Please can you tell us a bit about Springer Nature and your role(s) there?

Springer Nature is home to brands including Springer, Nature Research, BioMed Central, Palgrave Macmillan, and Scientific American. We advance discovery by publishing robust and insightful research, supporting the development of new areas of knowledge and making ideas and information accessible around the world. Key to this is our ability to provide the best possible service to the whole research community.

I have two roles at Springer Nature. Firstly, I am Editorial & Publishing Director for the Nature journals. I have the tremendous privilege to be responsible for the terrific staff who work so painstakingly to attract and publish some of the best research content in the world.

I am also Chief Publishing Advisor at Springer Nature, which means I have responsibility for a group that sets and implements publishing policies across the research division of the entire parent company.

When and why did Springer Nature get involved with ORCID?

We were a launch partner of ORCID, back in 2010, and we are proud of the progress the organisation has made since then. We felt that it was important to develop unique, permanent identifiers for researchers that are persistent, organisation-neutral and open.  

How is Springer Nature integrating ORCID in your system(s)? 

On 28 April we announced two new initiatives in support of ORCID. The first initiative is a trial that will mandate ORCID iDs for corresponding authors publishing in 46 journals from across the whole of Springer Nature, including Nature Research, Springer, and BioMed Central.

The second initiative will see Springer become the first publisher to include ORCID iDs in proceedings papers. Springer’s proceedings submission system, OCS, allows authors to enter and validate their ORCID iDs, thereby integrating them into the workflow process from the very beginning. Authors and editors of proceedings that use other conference management systems can still provide ORCID iDs to appear in the proceedings and next to the editors’ information. This feature will be extended to Springer’s Linked Open Data portal in the near future.

Springer Nature is the first major publisher to be awarded the Authenticate, Collect, Display, and Connect badges for ORCID’s integration and engagement program, Collect & Connect, developed to streamline the integration process and foster a shared user experience.

We have also implemented ORCID iDs in book, proceedings and journal workflows so that authors and editors benefit from all the advantages of ORCID. Submitted and verified ORCID iDs appear on the article PDF, website and in the underlying metadata XML. This enables authors with an ORCID iD to authorize Crossref to automatically push information about their published work to their ORCID record every time you publish using your ORCID iD.

What impact has ORCID had in your community?

We now have over half a million ORCID iDs in the Springer Nature systems – and this number is still growing! We’re trying to support this growth by initiatives such as the recently announced trial to mandate corresponding authors to supply an ORCID iD, and by encouraging all of our in-house editors and external partners to make sure they also have and use an ORCID iD.  We’ve had positive feedback from researchers about ORCID, and we want to continue to do as much as we can over the coming months to support and encourage researchers to find out more about ORCID.

What can we do to improve our support for your community?

We’re keen to work closely with ORCID to improve the experience for all parts of the research community. For example, we are exploring the possibility of linking ORCID iDs to open peer review reports and to build on our work around books and conference proceedings. The more linkages and use ORCID can get, the better it can serve the wider research community.

What's your favorite ORCID success story?

We are particularly proud of the fact that Springer Nature was the first publisher to implement the ORCID identifier in the book workflow process, providing book authors with their own digital identifier across our Springer and Palgrave Macmillan imprints.

Which three words best describe ORCID for you? 

Open, trusted, recognition.