6. Let a Thousand ORCIDs Bloom: Introducing the ORCID Identifier at Imperial College London
ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID, has found rapid uptake in the global scholarly community. Over a million authors are now registered and research funders, publishers and academic institutions are joining ORCID as members. This paper will introduce the audience to ORCID, its role in scholarly communication and research information management, and describe the experience of introducing ORCID at a research intensive university – Imperial College London.
ORCID is a not-for profit membership organisation that aims to change the way scholarly outputs are associated with authors. ORCID addresses the problem that it is frequently difficult to reliably identify an author by name. Not only do many researchers share the same name, often even in the same institution, but names can also change or are inconsistently abbreviated or misspelled. ORCID provides a unique identifier that can be used to claim authorship of a publication, data sets or other outputs such as software.
Authors benefit by increased visibility, but also through systems integration. Symplectic Elements, the system Imperial scholars use to record their outputs, can automatically claim publications when it detects a matching ORCID in the metadata. In the future, authors may no longer have to submit publication lists to funders – when relevant systems support ORCID providing the personal identifier may be enough. ORCID could also help meeting funders’ Open Access requirements, for example for the UK’s Research Excellence Framework, which requires the deposit of articles on acceptance for publication. Using ORCID, publishers could share metadata or even accepted manuscripts with the host institutions of the authors – identified through their iD. This would reduce the burden on authors and help universities to support the process and monitor compliance.
To support the academic community at Imperial and to advance the uptake of ORCID in general, Imperial College has set up a project to provide all academic staff with an iD. This was achieved in December 2014 and within less than two months some 1,200 researchers linked their iD back to Symplectic Elements. This paper will discuss ORCID in the global scholarly publication system, report on the results of the Imperial College project and outline future opportunities – in particular, how ORCID could help meeting open access requirements of the post-2014 REF.