ORCID for research resources

Enabling interoperability -- sharing of information about research across systems -- not only streamlines reporting, it also underpins open research. For researchers, the ability to easily share research is intertwined with the need to get credit for their contributions. The research community as a whole cares about openness because it facilitates rigor and reproducibility, both of which are important for ensuring public trust in research processes.


Research resources -- from research facilities housing specialized equipment, to repositories and field stations that house physical collections -- and sponsoring organizations stand to benefit from improved acknowledgement of resource use and a better understanding of the impact of the work undertaken by researchers using them. Resource-hosting organizations can make the reporting process more straightforward and reliable by embedding identifiers in the application process, and by creating and sharing connections between users and resources, enabling you to:

  • Reduce the burden on your researchers by allowing them to draw information from their ORCID record to auto-populate standard fields in the proposal submission form, and by adding award information to their ORCID record so they can use it when publishing papers and datasets
  • Make your resource(s) citable by standardizing the name with a persistent identifier, and also using a resolvable identifier for each awarded proposal
  • Share information about the research at your facility by posting proposal award information and associated identifiers in a publicly accessible database
  • Improve the speed and completeness of post-award reporting for your researchers by using the ORCID API to receive updates on their activities

There are many types of research resources, from single-use reagents to international collaboratives with dedicated facilities, and persistent identifiers can be used for all of them. The ORCID-enabled workflows described here require a touchpoint with the researcher where their ORCID iD can be collected using an authentication process, typically through a specific proposal process or credential to access. Some resource type examples are listed in the following table:

Resource type
Infrastructure A facility, building, or other physical space used to perform research. Neutron spallation source, animal facility, data enclave, archaeological site, telescope array. ships, planes, farms, laboratories.
Collection An object or group of objects used for research purposes; can be tangible or digital. Ocean mission, field campaign, collaborative data sets or resources, rare book collection; museum collection, biological specimen collection.
Equipment Hardware used for research purposes. Microscope, computers, glassware, samples, materials.
Service Services used for research purposes. Proteomics analysis, computing services, data analysis, logistical support, legal services, copyediting, expert or staff advisement.

Table 1. Resource type information framework


To ensure a common understanding of the information gaps and administrative challenges for research resources, we worked with the resources community, through the User Facilities and Publications Working Group. We have defined terms, described research workflows from time of application for resources use through research publication to reporting, and identified touchpoints with researchers. The group also proposed two proof-of-concept pilot projects, with the aim of testing feasibility of their findings in the broader research resources community.

We invite you to read the report and consider participating in developing a community of practice: learning with other research resource sponsors about how to use and benefit from persistent identifiers by including ORCID in your research workflows.

Contact us for more information.