Researchers: Distinguish Yourself with ORCID

The problem: Names aren’t unique, but your scholarship is

The global reach of the Web has brought immense benefits to scholars, but also introduces new challenges, one of which is name disambiguation.  Two scholars with the same name may find that their publications are misidentified, especially if both work in the same field or at the same institution. People who change their names (when they get married, for example) may also have difficulty getting credit for their prior publications.  Both of these scenarios happen frequently.

Two researchers with the same name and department affiliation

A researcher gets married and changes his name

The solution: ORCID

ORCID is a registry that provides a persistent digital identifier disambiguating your work from other researchers’.  This ensures that your work is recognized.  ORCID integrates with submission systems for major publishers and funders like the NIH, Taylor and Francis, Elsevier, FigShare, Nature Publishing Group, Springer, and IEEE.  Since its founding in 2012, ORCID has added 2 million users.

Still not sold on taking a few minutes to get an ORCID ID?  Here are some reasons researchers (understandably!) balk at signing up for ORCID.  These objections actually make getting an ORCID

Objection 1: You already have a profile on Google Scholar / ResearchGate /

You may have already claimed your Google Scholar profile.  However, Google’s algorithm for adding content doesn’t ensure all your works will show up, especially recent works and gray literature like whitepapers and presentations.  ResearchGate,, and Google Scholar are all for-profit enterprises.  Although they are good at obtaining content, it’s rarely in their interest to freely share data with other systems.  Thus, you end up typing the same information over and over again.

Objection 2: You’re tired of filling out the same information over and over

It may feel like ORCID is just another redundant profile.  But ORCID, a non-profit registry, shares your data with other parties that you trust, adhering to an “input once, reuse often” principle.  Academic publishers, altmetrics tools, funders, and institutional repositories are increasingly requiring or encouraging ORCID registration to auto-populate researchers’ profiles.  This actually eliminates the frustration of typing out your CV information over and over again.

So how do you get an ORCID?

Establishing an ORCID is free and quick. Register on the ORCID homepage. Populate your ORCID profile with your education, employment, and publication information.  Your publications can be automatically imported from SCOPUS or Google Scholar.  

You registered for an ORCID.  What now?

Add your unique ORCID ID to your websites and social media accounts.  In the future, when applying for grants, submitting articles, and setting up profiles, use your ORCID to save time and ensure accuracy.

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