The Israeli ORCID consortium one year on

Dror Berger's picture

Our first year

The Israeli ORCID consortium was officially established in July 2018 a few months after the first ORCID workshop in the country, following the decision to build a national research database and portal. The consortium is led by the Inter-University Computation Center (IUCC) and includes eight of the nine Universities in Israel. We expect the Open University of Israel to join as a member soon.

Our consortium goals are to raise awareness about ORCID among the research community in Israel, and promote ORCID integration with Israeli academic journals and grant applications for Israeli research funds. Our current efforts are focused on ORCID implementation in national databases, such as:

  • National name authority file (Maintained by the National Library of Israel)
  • Academic library catalogues 
  • Indexes of academic Israeli publications in Arabic and Hebrew

Our first year of operation has been very productive in terms of bringing the community together to work on ORCID implementation. In March, we hosted the second ORCID workshop in the country -- our first as an established consortium. It was a great opportunity for members to share their progress to date, discuss challenges, and examine the national research network plan. Currently six members have completed an ORCID integration and the other two are in the development stage. As required for  our national research network plans, all integrations collect authenticated iDs and push affiliation data and keywords. 

More recently, I attended the ORCID Consortia Workshop to present two regional integrations and a poster about our consortium multilingual challenges. The ORCID Israeli consortium was recognized there with an  award “For Excellence in Fostering ORCID integrations”.  

National CRIS plan and next steps

The Israeli national  research database and portal will be based on independent installations of CRIS (Current Research Information System) in each of the universities, plus an aggregated environment for showcasing and benchmarking overall research resources and outputs in Israel. 

The main challenge faced when designing the national research environment, was that CRIS systems usually harvest works from databases that prioritize STEM researchers publishing in English. Humanities research outputs (e.g. conference proceedings, books, theses and dissertations, etc.) and works in Hebrew and Arabic are often missing from their automated harvesting. For that reason, the ability to assign all kind of works to the correct researcher, institution, organizational unit, and hierarchy, and to capture publications both in Hebrew and Arabic were among our central requirements for a national CRIS provider. 

ORCID is an essential part of our national CRIS infrastructure as it allows us to synchronize data from different systems and thus overcome those challenges. So, when selecting a CRIS provider, we had the following requirements:

  • Use ORCID to identify and connect affiliation, works and funding data with researchers
  • Integrate the ORCID API for authentication, and as an identification key in the database and when communicating with other systems
  • Enable synchronization: continuously read, write, and update information from/to ORCID records

For the first phase of this project, all consortium members have to integrate ORCID and their HR systems to collect read/write permissions from researchers and to assert employment data (and sometimes keywords) to records. As part of this process, ORCID iDs will be stored in each institutional HR system, along with other personal details and identifiers. The use of HR systems for this was recommended because they have several advantages: they are designed to store personal information, providing both security and privacy; and they are already integrated with many other institutional systems (Research, Library, CMS, etc.). HR systems will be one of the sources for the national CRIS.

After analyzing the bid proposals received, we’ll announce the selected CRIS provider, probably in September, and start the next phase of the project. The next goal for member integrations is to read and write works data from ORCID records (using the CRIS), and to read keywords that describe fields of expertise.

Look for more news on our progress and other consortium updates soon!