ORCID: The Open Researcher and Contributor ID Registry

MacKenzie Smith
Research Director
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Personal name ambiguity for correct attribution of scholarly work is a persistent, critical problem in academic research. ORCID, Inc. aims to solve the author/contributor name ambiguity problem in scholarly communication by creating a central registry of unique identifiers for individual researchers, and an open and transparent linking mechanism between ORCID and other current author ID schemes. These identifiers, and the relationships among them, can be linked to the researcher’s output to enhance the scientific discovery process and to improve the efficiency of research funding and collaboration within the research community. The ORCID initiative represents a community-wide effort to establish an open, independent registry of identifiers that is adopted and embraced as the de facto standard.

Accurate identification of researchers and their work is also one of the pillars for the transition from science to e-Science, wherein scholarly publications can be mined to spot links and ideas hidden in the ever-growing volume of scholarly literature. A disambiguated set of authors will allow new services and benefits to be built for the research community by all stakeholders in scholarly communication: from commercial actors to non-profit organizations, from governments to universities.

The ORCID initiative officially launched as a non-profit organization in August, 2010 and is moving ahead with broad stakeholder participation. Nearly 200 organizations are registered participants already, including major commercial and society publishers, universities, funders, large digital archives, and a variety of other stakeholders. The researcher name ambiguity problem affects every part of the scholarly communication ecosystem and ORCID is the first initiative to bring that large and diverse community together around a shared solution. The presentation will cover the scope, vision and status of ORCID, the registry infrastructure options, the data proposed for inclusion, and the plan for future growth and sustainability. A discussion of the academic community’s needs for this registry and how academic organizations can participate will be facilitated as part of the session.




Last updated:  Saturday, September 3rd, 2011