Issues 16 April 2014

The benefits of ORCID

Why authors and publishers use this new identifier

As a Publishing Editor, when trying to connect with a (potential) author or editorial board member, I regularly face the question of which (e.g.) Y. Shen is the one I am looking for.

Searching for “Y. Shen” will give me 12,744 hits in Web of Science, which is composed of 8971 Distinct Author Record Sets. Sadly, as much as we want to believe otherwise, we are not unique in the world. And closer to home, Jansen, King and Schmidt are ubiquitous names, making it a challenge to find the right person. And even when you do, it will be questionable whether the contact information is still up to date or whether the researcher in question has already moved on to their next position.

ORCID could ultimately solve this problem. It will provide a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes authors from every other researcher using a 16-digit code. Linked to that is their (verified) publication record. In due time the articles we publish will not only list the name of the researcher (and their affiliation), but also their ORCID.

In addition, every ORCID is linked to an online profile, e.g. http://orcid.org which authors can update with their latest contact details. Springer is currently already using ORCID in our (major) manuscript submission system, Editorial Manager. When submitting their manuscript, authors can fetch their information using ORCID. Later this year we should also be able to extend this information to our production team, after which authors’ ORCIDs should be visible online and in the articles' PDF files.

Get involed

As ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-driven effort, you can also get involved yourself. On the ORCID iDeas Forum you can read, vote on & contribute your own ideas to help this initiative grow further. Some interesting ideas have already been submitted, such as an automatic update of article lists from linked resources, linking ORCID with authors’ Google Scholar profile pages, and the addition of article metadata such as publication date, citation count, publisher and so on.

By Martijn Roelandse, Senior Editor

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