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ORCID Adoption in the Pharma Community

Matthew Buys's picture

 This post was jointly authored by Matt Buys, Executive Director of DataCite and former Engagement Director of ORCID, and Paul Farrow, Group Communications Director and Sarah Sabir, Associate Medical Writer, both at Oxford PharmaGenesis

The Open Pharma community is striving to drive fast and transparent medical publishing and is encouraging pharmaceutical research companies to use their influence to achieve this, while ORCID is part of the wider digital infrastructure needed for researchers to share information on a global scale, enabling transparent and trustworthy connections between researchers, their contributions, and affiliations by providing an identifier for individuals to use with their name as they engage in research, scholarship, and innovation activities.

Over the past two years, ORCID and Open Pharma have collaborated to demonstrate the benefits to researchers in pharma companies of registering for and using an ORCID iD.

Together we have identified several potential benefits for researchers employed in the pharma sector if their companies integrate with the ORCID member API, which allows other systems and applications to connect to the ORCID Registry of iDs. These benefits include:

  • Faster manuscript submissions to publishers
  • Improved reporting of research outputs 
  • Increased efficiency for external author partners 
  • Opportunities to streamline disclosure/conflict of interest information
  • Open science leadership

Although pharma researchers won’t realize the full benefit of having an ORCID iD if their company has not integrated with ORCID, many of them have already registered for ORCID iDs. An increasing number of pharma researchers now use an iD when submitting manuscripts for publication, since most major publishers request or, in some cases, require them to do so. This allows them to distinguish themselves from other authors -- including those in academia -- who have the same or similar names, and ensures that they are correctly connected with their own publications. It also enables their ORCID record to be automatically updated with the DOI for their article when it is published. 

Across the top pharma companies, there has been a steady increase in the total number of ORCID iDs linked with an institutional domain between June 2017 and June 2019. The greatest adoption has been observed by GSK Vaccines, who ran a pilot ORCID project between August and December 2017, highlighting the importance of education on the benefits of ORCID.  

Based on a sample of ORCID iD records of individuals who have added an affiliation with one of several selected organisations, we estimate that:

  • 89% had shared their ORCID iD with an organization (e.g. publisher, funder, employer) through an ORCID research workflow integration 
  • 62% had works connected to their record
  • 12% had funding information connected to their record
  • 2% had peer review activities connected to their record

ORCID and Open Pharma plan to build on these positive trends, to both improve the technical workflow in pharma research management systems and increase awareness among researchers and medical publication professionals working in pharma companies. The next phase of our collaboration will focus on identifying systems within the pharma community that are interested in implementing ORCID's best practice workflows and allowing the synchronization of research information through permission-based authentication. 

Educational materials to support the adoption of ORCID within pharma can be found at https://openpharma.blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Open-Pharma-ORCID-infographic_GSK-case-study.pdf  Look out for more information in future blog posts and, if you are interested in finding out more, please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

A version of this post is also available on the Open Pharma blog