By Sarah Townsend, Research Funding Analyst, RCUK Executive Directorate.
An ORCID identifier (ORCID iD) is a unique string of numbers (a digital identifier) that distinguishes you from every other researcher – when a name isn’t enough! Letting researchers create or connect their ORCID iD to our grants system is an important first step towards improving the flow of research information across the higher education sector. ORCID offers a platform for researchers to capture your scholarly activities throughout your careers even if you change name, publish under different variations of your name, move institutions, or switch fields. This helps you get exposure and recognition for your work. Increasingly it will also be a tool to link and re-use research information unambiguously across multiple systems whether that’s for funders, publishers or your university. Initiatives like Crossref’s new auto-update functionality is automating the process, so ultimately this will save everyone time – in particular, researchers – as well as minimizing the risk of errors.
There is no need to wait until you are applying for a new grant to create or connect your iD – we would encourage both current and past award holders to log-in to their Je-S account, which you can do at any time, and add your ORCID iD to your ‘personal information’ page now. New applicants you will also see the option to ‘create or connect your ORCID iD’ when creating a new Je-S account. And don’t worry – if you don’t currently have an ORCID iD, you can also sign up for one from the Je-S system. The basic registration takes about 30 seconds, including adding your ORCID iD to your Je-S account at the same time – and it’s completely free.
Did you know that well over two million researchers worldwide already have an ORCID iD and that many UK universities have now integrated ORCID iDs in their research information systems? In addition, many publishers now require you to include your ORCID iD in new article submissions and several funders now ask for your ORCID iD when you apply for a grant. So now is a great time to sign up to ORCID if you haven’t already done so and connect your ORCID iD to your Je-S account.
“A researcher’s view
“Many journals are already asking authors to include their ORCID iD in new submissions and funders such as Research Councils have also begun to ask researchers to include their ORCID iD when applying for grants. As a researcher there are many benefits to having an ORCID iD. Through my ORCID iD, I can recognise and collate a diverse range of research outputs (e.g. journal publications, datasets, designs, equipment, methods, computer code) which are uniquely identifiable to me. This helps my work be accurately and quickly discovered, increasing its ready availability as a result of the open access systems we use (e.g. NORA). Importantly, this also improves the scientific traceability of my research, linking together different research outputs and datasets when archived in different places. The extent to which my research outputs have been used by other researchers can be more accurately demonstrated using platforms such as ResearchGate and Google Scholar, improving my research profile and helping me better demonstrate the impact of my research activities. An ORCID iD and QR code on business cards is also a quick and easy way for new contacts to readily reach my research profile, promoting collaboration opportunities and new science ideas.”
Dr Matthew Horstwood has been working as a researcher for over 18 years and is currently employed at the British Geological Survey. He has been talking to other researchers at BGS about the benefits of ORCID and has used his ORCID profile to capture over 80 works he has authored or contributed to going back as far as 1999, as well as grants he has received and his employment history.