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ORCID Consortia: Building Communities

Matthew Buys's picture

ORCID consortia are fundamental to our mission. To be successful at building national and regional communities of practice that support a global open research infrastructure, we need the commitment of our consortia members and their lead organizations.

Our consortium program formally launched in November 2014, following an Adoption and Integration project carried out in 2013-14, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The goal of our consortium program was to facilitate adoption and use of ORCID identifiers through communities of practice, by providing incentives in the form of deep discounts on membership for groups of five or more non-profit organizations.  

Today, there are 19 ORCID consortia stretching from South Africa to Finland and from the US to Taiwan, collectively comprising around two thirds of our member community. Most consortia members are universities, and some consortia also include funders and other non-profit research organizations .  In fact, we recently welcomed our first fully funder consortium.

Importantly, the ORCID consortium program is not only an opportunity for organizations to take a coordinated approach to the adoption and use of ORCID, but it also provides a platform to engage in discussions across the global research community, through venues including a consortia workshop.

Earlier this year we conducted a survey of our consortia members. It was clear from the results that some improvements were needed in terms of outreach, engaging researchers, and communicating effective practices, as well as in providing more clarity on the roles and responsibilities of both ORCID and  the Consortium Lead Organization.

I’m excited to report that, since then, we have made significant progress in various key areas, and today sees the launch of our updated consortium program. Changes include updated documentation, a revised consortium policy, a suite of new community resources, and additional administration tools for consortia.  

  1. Documentation.  Our new consortia pages provide more information for current and prospective consortium members. We also recently launched new education and outreach materials for the community, based on input and feedback from our community, including several Consortia Leads
  2. Policy. We have now clarified roles and responsibilities for Consortium Leads and ORCID. This was a collaborative effort involving ORCID consortia globally, and it’s accompanied by a pre- and post-agreement onboarding checklist for Consortia Leads and ORCID, to make the onboarding process more straightforward
  3. Community. In January 2018 we will host our first consortia workshop, which will be attended by stakeholders from current and prospective ORCID consortia. The goals of these annual events are to build collaboration across regions and establish clear communities of practice
  4. Administration. We have recently launched a beta version of a new self-management tool that allows Consortium Leads to manage information about their members and contacts more easily. This is currently being piloted by several consortia - please contact us if you’re interested in joining the pilot

In the almost three years I’ve been at ORCID, first as a Regional Director and now as Director of Membership, I have had the pleasure of working with communities across the Europe, Middle East & Africa region and now around the globe. It has been particularly pleasing to see these communities coming together to establish consortia that focus on connecting policy, outreach, and infrastructure to help us achieve our vision. During the course of 2018 we expect to see more consortia join ORCID, enabling us to continue building sustainable connections across regions.

In the meantime, I join my colleagues at ORCID in thanking you for your continued support. We look forward to continuing to work with you to establish ORCID communities of practice in your country or sector of the research community.