Every person is unique; but when it comes to names, some of us may be less unique than others.
If, for example, you are called T. Smith, or C. Wang, others will have a hard time identifying you as the author of a particular publication. It is also likely that your name will get mixed up with other authors with similar names, leading to missed citations.
Even if you do have a distinctive name, it is still not guaranteed that others will be able to find and cite your work correctly. It is very common to be inconsistent in how we cite our own names in different publications: typos, spelling variations, and inconsistencies in whether we use middle initials or special characters will all increase uncertainty about our identity. You may ‘know thyself’, but others don’t; not necessarily.
Claiming your identity with ORCID
ORCID, the Open Research Contributor ID, offers you a permanent digital identifier that groups together all variants of your name – or previous names you may have used. By linking your unique ORCID number to all your publications, as well as other contributions like datasets, patents, projects, arts outputs and media stories, you make sure that all your publications and research activities are attributed to you.
Reducing multiple data entries
Entering the same data over and over again in different systems is the bane of a researcher’s existence. ORCID has begun to automate a lot of your admin jobs: you can use your ORCID ID to link to other systems, including those maintained by some funders and publishers. Major publishers including Wiley, Elsevier, Taylor & Francis and Springer can now integrate ORCID numbers into the manuscript submission process, saving you time completing submission forms. Funding bodies have also started implementing ORCID, with Research Councils UK ready to integrate with ORCID early this year. ResearchFish has also become an ORCID member, meaning that, once the integration is in place, you should be able to just provide the ORCID to auto-populate publications lists and other reporting information.
Since its launch in 2012, ORCID has been widely adopted. Figshare, SSRN and the Web of Science are among the many services now integrated with ORCID. This allows you to share information between systems, without having to enter the same information again.
How does it work?
Registration is free and takes about half a minute. To register, visit the ORCID registration page http://orcid.org/ and enter a few details about yourself. You will then be assigned an ORCID ID, which looks something like this: 0000-0000-1234-5678. The ORCID registry also offers you an ORCID profile, e.g. http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5651-4754, where you can:
- Add variants of your name and previous affiliations to this ID.
- Link your ORCID to other publications and other contributions, including data sets and grants.
- Link your ORCID to other identifiers like ResearcherID and Scopus Author ID.
Your ORCID number and profile is unique, permanent, and belongs to you, not your institution. It follows you throughout your career even if you change affiliations. Using privacy settings, you can choose what information held in your ORCID profile is visible to the public.
Supporting ORCID at Surrey
The University has been looking into ways to implement ORCIDs for all researchers. In the meantime, we strongly encourage you to register and maintain an ORCID profile directly at http://orcid.org/. Please contact email@example.com if you need more information.
The full benefits of ORCID for researchers and research communication at large become more evident as it is more widely adopted.