Listening to Our Users: What We Learned from Our 2019 Community Survey

Alice Meadows's picture

Earlier this year we carried out our third community survey. An impressive 11,201 of you responded, with 8,163 (72.9%) completing all the questions. Please see ORCID Community Survey 2019 for the full report.

As a researcher-centric organization, listening to our community is essential in order for us to improve our services and messaging through a better understanding of what you know about ORCID; of how, when, and why you’re using your iD, and of what you do and don’t like about ORCID. Surveys are a great tool for this and, as with previous surveys, we will be using your feedback to inform our strategic decision-making, and to improve our technology and communications.

Perceptions of ORCID remain overwhelmingly positive overall, though with variations by demographic, with librarians, respondents from Latin America & the Caribbean, and Interdisciplinary researchers the most enthusiastic. The vast majority (84.4%) agree or strongly agree that an ORCID iD is essential for researchers, and your support for requiring iDs is equally high -- 84% of respondent overall support this.

One noticeable change in your perceptions of ORCID is that we’re no longer considered the new PID on the block! With well over 6m ORCID iDs registered, we are moving out of our startup phase.“New” has been replaced by “Widely used” in the top five attributes you associate with ORCID, and the number of respondents who have had an iD for three or more years, which has grown from 13.9% in our 2015 survey to 35.3% in 2019.

When, how, and why you use your ORCID iD

  • You’re already actively using our newly introduced features -- additional affiliation types (17.5%) and the new research resources section (7%)
  • You’re connecting more information to your ORCID record than ever before (which aligns with our own Registry statistics), with early career respondents the most active users
  • You’re still most likely to use your iD when publishing an article, and to add publications to your record. But well over half of you now also want to be able to add anything you make public with your name associated to your record - a significant change from previous surveys
  • Editing your record is still prevalent; only about 25% of you have given your trusted parties permission to update your record, although our Registry statistics show that a much higher number -- around 75% -- have done so for at least one organization
  • Disambiguation, recognition, and discoverability continue to top the list of reasons why researchers register for an iD

What you need from us

  • Better communications about how to make the most of your ORCID record, in particular, authorizing trusted organizations (ORCID members) to update ORCID records. We’ll be working on our messaging on this and, in the meantime you can learn more in Six Ways to Make your ORCID iD Work for You!
  • Easier ways to manage your record, especially in terms of adding funding information, works, and managing visibility settings. We are working with the funding community to tackle adding funding information through our ORBIT project; we recently introduced an option to add works by identifier; and we are committed to improving our user interface further
  • Help with connecting anything you make publicly available to your record. Our Person Citations and Academia & Beyond projects will help us explore with researchers how ORCID can better support your needs
  • Improved understanding of the changing needs of researchers throughout their careers, from start to finish. To help with this, we are working on some in-depth user journey mapping, starting with the most highly used workflow - publishing a journal article
  • Better support for researchers in regions and communities with low membership and few opportunities to use their iD. For example, there is huge support for ORCID in Latin America, but very few members or integrations, and only one consortium (in Brazil). We are working with our consortia partners -- our regional experts -- to capitalize on this enthusiasm and grow our member community in these regions

As we become a more mature organization we have an ever greater responsibility to understand -- and address -- the needs of our users. We are lucky to have such an engaged and active community (a full 40% of respondents volunteered to get involved in UX testing and/or ORCID working groups!), and are hugely grateful to everyone who took the time to provide us with such valuable and interesting feedback.

The full report and anonymized dataset are now available.

Thank you again for your participation and feedback!