Background to ORCID
Last week the SpotOn London 2012 conference (#solo12) included a session entitled ORCID – Why Do We Need a Unique Researcher ID? As described in the abstract for the session:
Open Researcher & Contributor ID (ORCID) provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher. Through integration with key research workflows and other identifiers, ORCID supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities, ensuring that your work is recognized. The ORCID service launched in October 2012 and in this hands-on workshop we will demonstrate the different tools that already use the ORCID identifier, from manuscript submission to altmetrics for your publications. The focus will be on working with these tools so that at the end of the workshop you will have registered for your personal ORCID (if you didn’t have one already), started creating your ORCID record, and explored cool ways to use your ORCID to connect your research back to you. Wide usage and adoption of a researcher naming standard is a key component of effective research communication. Such a standard is fundamental to improving data quality and system interoperability, and ultimately will reduce the amount of time individuals spend maintaining their professional record—freeing time for research itself.
As described in a recent post on Observing Growth In Popularity of ORCID: An SEO Analysis we can already observe take-up in use of ORCID since its launch last month.
Claiming an ORCID ID
Shortly after the launch I claimed my ORCID ID: 0000-0001-5875-8744. As suggested on the ORCID home page this is a painless exercise, taking about 30 seconds to complete.
I then added addition information including details of my research papers. Citation information for my papers were added automatically once I had associated my ORCID ID with my Scopus account. I then had to individually change the visibility of these items from Private to Public in order that the records were including in the public display of my ORCID profile.
The final thing I did was to add links to my key Web resources, including the UKOLN Web site, my UK Web Focus blog and my LinkedIn profile.
If you a researcher and have published peer-reviewed papers I would recommend claiming of your ORCID ID. But beyond investing 30 seconds in claiming the ID I would also suggest that you should associate your ORCID ID with your papers and then make them public (note it has been suggested that the display should be public by default). I would also recommend that your ORCID record should provide links so that others can find out more about you and your research activities, including your current contact details.
Using An ORCID Record
Maintaining Links, As Author Affiliations Changes
I would suggest, however, that researchers should do more than simply claim their ORCID ID. I recently realised recently that I was in danger of losing contact with people I have co-authored papers with since writing my first peer-reviewed paper back in 1999. This has always been a danger in light of the turn-over in affiliations for those working as researchers and will become even more relevant in light of cutbacks in higher education.
I have therefore started to make contact with co-authors and have invited them to claim their ORCID ID. I will include this information in citation records which I maintain. As an example the papers tab on this blog contains details of papers I have published and includes links to further information for each of the papers.
I have recently begun updating the citation details with links to the ORCID ID for my co-authors when I have been notified of their ORCID ID.
An example for the paper on A Challenge to Web Accessibility Metrics and Guidelines: Putting People and Processes First is illustrated, for which ORCID IDs for three of the four authors are available.
In this case the co-authors are still based at same institution. However for a paper on Developing Countries; Developing Experiences: Approaches to Accessibility for the Real World written by three of the four same authors, Sarah Lewthwaite was at the time based at the University of Nottingham. The page containing the citation information has Sarah’s institutional details from when the paper was published (and the paper itself will have the email details for this institution which will no longer work). However the ORCID ID will continue to be valid, and can be updated with any new organisational details and email address.
Supporting Resource Discovery
Since claiming my ORCID ID I have found that a Google search for ‘Brian Kelly ORCID‘ includes my ORCID record in the first page of results, as illustrated. And whilst finding the page probably reflects a personalised view of my Google search results, it did occur to my that a search for ‘researcher’s name ORCID’ may become a quick way of finding research publications for an individual. Since my initial experiments tended to find results related to the Orcid flower I realised that use of ‘ORCID ID’ may provide a useful disambiguation term. I have therefore decided to use this structure in my Web resources, even if pedants point out the redundancy in use of ‘ID’ since ORCID stands for Open Researcher & Contributor ID. After all, we talk about the Sahara Desert even though Sahara means desert.
If a search for ‘name ORCID ID’ becomes a means of helping to find details for a researcher’s publication record might it also be useful for finding the papers themselves?
As illustrated, a Google search for ‘A Challenge to Web Accessibility Metrics and Guidelines: Putting People and Processes First‘ finds the item in the institutional repository, an article posted on this blog and, in third place, the information provided in my ORCID record.
Although it should again be mentioned that these findings may be skewed by Google personalisation features (I was logged into Google when carrying out the search and used the PC in my office) the point to be made is that content held in ORCID will be found by Google.
In addition, the visibility of the ORCID Web site is likely to be enhanced as more people link to ORCID from their Web sites, especially high-ranking Web sites. This may mean that the early adopters who claim an ORCID ID in its early stages of development will gain benefits through their peers finding their published research papers – something likely to be of particularly important within the UK higher education sector in the run-up to REF 2014.
Why would you not claim your ORCID ID? Why would you not make use of your ORCID record as I have suggested? And if any of my co-authors read this post, feel free to get in touch and let me have details of your ORCID ID.
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