2018 Year in Review

Laure Haak's picture

2018 is nearly over and, with your help, we’ve made some significant strides toward achieving ORCID’s vision. We set ourselves some ambitious goals for the year, based on the strategic plan we developed in collaboration with our Board during 2017. Our 2018 project roadmap comprised eight projects that tied in with our strategic themes through a research funding lens:

  1. Researchers. Establish compelling reasons and methods for researchers to use ORCID to share verified information about themselves
  2. Infrastructure. Establishing ORCID’s role as a trusted and neutral actor in sharing (funding) information
  3. Trusted assertions. Establish ORCID as a credible hub for asserting and re-using researcher information
  4. Strategic relationships. Increase engagement with our global community

So, based on the measures of success we set ourselves, how did we do?


We reached a major milestone this year: 5 million registered researchers! Our Share Information project aimed to develop new and enhanced ways for researchers to share funding information when they publish. An important element of this is to increase transparency around the information in an ORCID record, so we did a lot of work on assertion assurance pathways -- ensuring that the provenance of ORCID data is clearly displayed and understood -- and to contribute to a robust research infrastructure based on persistent identifiers. In addition, our new API 3.0, launched in October, features new affiliation types that enable researchers to be recognized for the many different sorts of contributions they make; it also allows the use of research resources, such as national laboratories or special collections, to be connected with ORCID records.

Our Collecting the Evidence project set out to determine whether researchers benefit when using ORCID in research workflows - through reduced data entry or streamlined reporting, for example. We established a methodology for collecting and analyzing community sentiment using social media tools, and we also tracked Twitter engagement. We also developed and fielded surveys to listen to our community. We will be publishing a summary of this work alongside a review of community reports about ORCID in early 2019.


Our goal is to provide our community with top-notch reliability. We had 100m hits on our API in October - the highest month ever - and have had 100% uptime throughout the year on both our member and public APIs. We are taking down the site in December to upgrade our servers to ensure we can continue this level of service. As we make the transition out of start-up phase, we undertook an organization-wide restructure to build resiliency and community responsiveness. We also moved to a new help desk ticketing system that allows us to provide language-specific and also continued to update our help and outreach resources.

Our big 2018 infrastructure initiative was the ORBIT (ORCID Reducing Burden and Improving Transparency) project. Our goal was to enable identifier-based researcher → funding connections and ultimately improve data quality, reduce administrative burden, and streamline the reporting process through re-use of open information. To do this, we engaged with funders directly to understand their grant application workflows and information requirements - over 30 funders around the world are now involved in ORBIT. With the help of our Funder Working Group members, we have mapped information typically collected during grant application against the ORCID record schema. We are also working with funders on pathfinder projects to enable data connections in funder systems using identifiers. We’ve made good progress o during this Year in ORBIT, including supporting an open letter that funders are using to indicate their intent to integrate ORCID. There is a lot more to do and we are looking forward to continued activity with the funding community in 2019.

 Trusted assertions

Our measures of success here were the development of policies and processes that enable transparency of information sources and the documentation and promotion of success stories. In addition to the assertion assurance work noted above, one of our key achievements was compliance with the European Union GDPR regulation. Given our core principles of individual control and transparency, we were already largely in alignment, so most of our efforts were focused on fine-tuning our internal processes, as outlined in GDPR, ORCID, and You.

We also made good progress working with service providers and platforms on using the ORCID record as an activity hub for researchers. We kicked off two new community initiatives -- the ORCID in Repositories Task Force (report expected shortly) and the ORCID in Publishing Working Group. We partnered with platforms that have integrated ORCID to demonstrate how we can be better together, making it easier for our members that are using these systems to implement ORCID in accordance with our best practices.

 Strategic relationships

The three projects under this heading can be measured in terms of how they enabled us to build and maintain productive relationships with our partners. Our regional strategies this year focused on defining and developing ORCID communities of practice, working especially closely with our consortia lead organizations globally. We held our first consortia workshop in January, updated our consortium policies and practices (including the launch of consortium self-service portal) and this year welcomed new national consortia in Brazil, the US, Israel and Portugal. We’ve also recently signed agreements with Austria, and Greece and Denmark is relaunching its consortium -- more on these in early 2019!.

We also set out our vision for how we want to work with our community, and in particular our members and consortia, to create a sustainable infrastructure through a mix of technology and engagement. Our recently announced RIPEN (Research Information Platform Engagement) program is intended to reduce technical barriers and broaden our engagement with research organizations we currently under-serve, by scaling up to enable easier ORCID iD authentication for everyone. We are starting this project by developing an internal workflow to better recognize and thank the many friends of ORCID who help support our mission by standing for election to the Board, volunteering for our task forces and working groups, providing translations or open source code, sharing outreach resources, and so much more.

A heartfelt thank you to you all for your continued support!