ORCiD – unique identifier for researchers

by Steffi Grimm

Godfridus Guilielmus Leibnizius, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Gotfrid Vil’gel’m Leibnits. Three variant names, one person. Or: the researcher from Taiwan whose writing in Roman script is inconsistent; the colleague in the USA who has the exact same name; one’s own paper appearing in a Russian journal; or the postdoc who took the name of his wife. Those familiar with these kinds of situations know how difficult it can be to trace back papers, research data and activities to the originating researcher.

The Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCiD), serves as the international de-facto standard for uniquely identifying researchers, and can be likened to the ISBN for books or the DOI for online publications. Currently, ORCiD identifies more than 2.8 million registered authors (as of December 2016).

The library recommends all researchers to register with ORCiD and to use the personal ID when publishing papers, communicating with publishers and submitting external funding applications.

ORCiD – how it works!

  1. It takes 30 seconds to register for an ORCiD
  2. Fill out the ORCiD profile and link it to other IDs (e.g. Scopus Author ID, Researcher ID), define your privacy settings
  3. Create a list of papers by importing it (e.g. from Google Scholar, Web of Science, CrossRef) or typing it in manually
  4. Use the registered ORCiD on your own website, when submitting funding applications and manuscripts, on your personal business cards, etc.

Advantages of an ORCiD

  • Unique personal identification (regardless of identical names, name changes or different writing systems)
  • Unique attribution of biography and individual research achievements (e.g. papers, research data, software)
  • Automated maintenance of publication lists
  • Simplified communication, e.g. when submitting funding applications and manuscripts, or when registering for conferences
  • Simplified documentation of the total research output of universities, faculties, institutes and specialist groups