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Announcing ORCID’s New Service Provider Certification Program

Service Provider (SP) systems enable hundreds of ORCID members to easily integrate ORCID into local workflows and systems and provide a more consistent user experience for researchers when they encounter ORCID. For these reasons, our members frequently want to know which SPs have enabled which ORCID product functionalities and be assured the implementation adheres to best practices. 

Service Provider Certification is a means for ORCID to partner with SPs on their use of ORCID and to make product information more accessible to the ORCID community. The Certification program will help drive business opportunities for SPs as their customers work toward their open research and interoperability goals.

What is a service provider?

An ORCID SP is any organization that provides a product—free or paid—that includes functionality that can authenticate ORCID iDs and update ORCID records.   

SPs must offer the ability to perform updates using their customer’s ORCID member API credentials unless the SP in question is an Open Infrastructure Provider.  Open Infrastructure Providers are defined here as primary sources of data that also provide an open registry of resolvable persistent identifiers.

Additionally, there is another class of member integration that does not fall within the stated definition and includes many (but not all) of our search and link providing members. They’re similar to SPs as defined here, but they’re researcher focused rather than SP customer driven. 

Which service providers are eligible for certification?

Certification is open to ORCID members who meet the definition of SP as outlined above, as well as non-members who meet the definition of SP and have one or more ORCID members as customers. 

How does the certification process work?

SPs submit documentation of meeting requirements for certification via an in-person call as part of the initial certification process. During the call, ORCID will review the integration to ensure it meets integration best practice guidelines and minimal requirements for Certification. During the call, the SP will be expected to:

  • Demonstrate Certification requirements are met by either performing a live walkthrough via screencast or providing a link to a product video.
  • Provide a link to product documentation aimed at customers (e.g., marketing materials, knowledge base articles, etc.).
  • Provide a link to end-user documentation if appropriate (e.g., help pages for those using ORCID within the system). For some, like software vendors, this might not apply.
  • Provide a product contact who can receive product related updates from ORCID.

Once certified, the original documentation will be reviewed jointly by the SP and ORCID as part of the annual Certification renewal process. If SP functionality has not changed, this check-in ensures there are open lines of communication between SPs and ORCID. It also serves as an opportunity for both to discuss future plans.

What does it take to become certified?

Certification is and always will be free. The minimum requirements for SP Certification are outlined below:

  • Provide the ability for members to manage their own credentials within the SP’s system or have a secure method of transferring credentials (if required). 
  • Use ORCID members’ credentials to collect authenticated iDs using OAuth.
  • Provide an ORCID branded button or link to initiate collection of iDs alongside a help icon or text describing what ORCID is.
  • Store the full token exchange response, which includes:
    • ORCID iD
    • Access token
  • Store and publicly display the verified ORCID iD as per ORCID trademark and display iD guidelines within the SP system.
  • Add and update items on ORCID records such as affiliations, funding, works, peer review, and research resources.
  • Make documentation available on what ORCID is, the benefits to the researcher and the wider community, and how the SP’s integration works.  This could be in the form of links to ORCID hosted pages if desired. 
  • Offer the ability to export stored ORCID iDs and token exchange data, and put codes in association with user information at the request of ORCID member customers.
  • Provide the ability to examine system and API logs for troubleshooting purposes.

Benefits of certification

In addition to enabling ORCID to more effectively communicate a product offering to other institutions, Certification entitles ORCID’s SPs to the following exclusive benefits: 

  • Reduced go-live time for ORCID members using the certified SP product because the integration comes pre-approved. 
  • Easy-to-articulate requirements during tendering and procurement processes for potential customers.
  • A link to the company’s product page from a public facing ORCID Certified SP page (to be launched summer 2020).
  • Access to relevant statistics for benchmarking, which ORCID will refine based on SP feedback.
  • Permission to use “ORCID certified SP” branding.
  • Invitation to participate at ORCID-hosted workshops.

Want to learn more about becoming a Certified Service Provider? Please reach out to your Engagement Team lead for more information!