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ORCID members in Japan seeking more concerted efforts

Masao Mori's picture

[In Japanese: 日本のORCID機関会員による協力体制に向けて]

ORCID members in Japan are now in discussion to form a consortium of research institutions, which is anticipated to launch as early as April 2018. We interviewed Dr. Masao Mori , who has been leading ORCID integrations at Tokyo Institute of Technology, to share the latest about the ongoing consortium discussion.

Which organizations are involved in the current consortium discussion?

There are currently five organizations in discussions to form a consortium for Japanese research institutions. We are all ORCID members, and include three universities – Keio University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and University of Tsukuba – and two national research institutions – National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and National Institute of Informatics (NII).

Our discussions to form a consortium began in late September. We invited other Japanese research institutions to join in our preliminary online meeting to discuss the potential consortium, which was attended by representatives in charge of ORCID integrations for each member, as well as several prospective member representatives.

What was the focus of your initial discussion?

We discussed what we consider the primary benefit of being an ORCID member: being able to use the ORCID member API. We also discussed the advantages of forming an ORCID consortium in Japan, including the possibility of consolidating information for researchers throughout Japan, and how an ORCID consortium could support national science and technology policy.

What progress have you had since the initial meeting?

We aim to launch the consortium in April 2018. We are currently working on our letter of intent and finalizing the administrative details to make the consortium a reality. We will be holding another meeting at NII on December 26 to open the consortium discussions to a wider group of research institutions. In January, a representative from the proposed consortium will participate in the ORCID Consortium Workshop in Lisbon.

How do you communicate within the group?

We have launched a website to share information among members about the launch of the consortium. We also started a mailing list for existing and potential ORCID members in Japan to discuss issues related to the consortium and ORCID membership more broadly.

Your own organization, Tokyo Institute of Technology, has been an ORCID member since September 2016. Could you share how you have integrated with ORCID?

We have integrated the Tokyo Tech Research Repository with the ORCID API. We collect researchers’ ORCID iDs and connect data from their ORCID records to our system as evidence of their research activities. As we try to establish the system and culture of organizational and individual assessment, we need an efficient way to collect the data for our faculty’s research activities. To this end, we find it useful that ORCID can provide this information automatically from their ORCID records. In addition, there is growing awareness at Tokyo Tech that ORCID is helpful for raising our international profile in terms of international recruitment and transfer. We anticipate that the demand for ORCID will increase as it’s useful in transferring researcher information and research promotion.

What challenges, if any, do you see that Japanese organizations must overcome to adopt ORCID?

Not every institution has the resources needed to take full advantage of ORCID membership benefits, which may discourage some institutions and universities from joining ORCID. Personally, I hope that the ORCID consortium will provide the services needed to support and address this issue, enhancing ORCID membership benefits so that more institutions can join.