ORCID and You: Establishing ORCID IDs at MSKCC

Since its launch in October 2012, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) registry has issued over 300,000 (as of 09/27/2013) unique identifiers to researchers and scholars from around the world.  These persistent identifiers, each one a 16-digit number, expressed as a URL unique to the individual, serves a valuable purpose – to eliminate author name ambiguity and improve discoverability to one’s research and scholarly works.

The MSKCC Library supports ORCID’s mission and has been following this organization since late 2010.  In December 2012, the Library joined ORCID as an institutional member and saw an important role in creating ORCID records on behalf of our authors. Library staff is in an excellent position to populate individual ORCID profiles by ingesting citation content from Synapse to their database as well as ensuring ORCID IDs appear within Synapse, our MSK publication database. Researchers can also register for their unique ID, which can then be used by editors, funding agencies, publishers and organizations to consistently link authors in the same way that International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) and Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) identify books and journal articles.

Imagine ORCID as a community hub where those involved in research and scholarly publications are connected to this organization and where ORCID IDs are embedded in a wide variety of systems and work flows that are able to exchange relevant information and reduce repetitive data entry – this would involve such activities as manuscript submissions, grant applications, data repositories, or association with other author identification numbers that are ORCID-compliant (i.e. Scopus Author ID or ResearcherID).

Imagine that an author’s ORCID ID is displayed on all their journal articles or book title pages with a link for interested individuals to see their most current profile and full list of publications, grants and patents – it is not too hard to see how this would greatly improve the scholarly communication environment and better showcase an individual’s contribution to the repository of human knowledge.

While the ORCID registry is available free of charge to individuals, the MSKCC Library, in the upcoming months, will be sharing plans on how we will support our author community by establishing ORCID IDs for them.  Our workflow will include an opt-out option for those who have already acquired an ORCID ID or wish to see how this initiative continues to grow before requesting their identification number.

For those interested in gaining a better sense of how ORCID is impacting the scholarly communication world, you can view their statistics page which is updated on a regular basis or better yet visit wwww.ORCIDlive.org to view real-time changes being made to ORCID profiles. In addition, information providers and publishers are also onboard to see a successful outcome with ORCID.  These include ORCID sponsors such as the American Chemical Society, Elsevier, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, Nature Publishing Group, PLoS, Springer and Wiley as well as launch partners, Faculty of 1000, figshare, Thomson Reuters, ImpactStory and Wellcome Trust, to name a few.

If you are interested in learning more about the Library’s plans to provide an ORCID support service or would like to have a presentation about the benefits of ORCID, please feel free to contact me. Getting the word out about ORCID is one of our top priorities and support from our Library user community would be greatly appreciated. Life would be much easier if every researcher had a unique identification number associated with their name!

Donna Gibson
ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3333-6742
Director of Library Services and one of many ORCID Ambassadors