What EPrints users want from ORCID integration
The JISC ORCID support project is all about helping the community make progress with ORCID integration at their institutions in order to realise the benefits of ORCID for the institution and their researchers. We are delighted to offer this guest blog post by Lizz Jennings (University of Bath) and Helen Cooper (University of Central Lancashire), who describe some concrete steps they have taken to help institutions that use the eprints.org software to move forward with supporting ORCID. Lizz and Helen have surveyed the community of eprints users in the UK to gather requirements for developing eprints.org into a product that implements ORCID in a community-agreed standardised way. This is an excellent example of the community working together and pooling their efforts, using a Jisc event as a springboard, and we thank them greatly for their initiative and for sharing the outcomes of their work both at Jisc events and here. Lizz and Helen write:
Following the May ORCID UK Workshop, it was clear that promoting ORCID identifiers without having the infrastructure to support them was going to be a challenge. Although most saw them as a good idea, promoting a number that doesn’t actually do anything might actually hinder widespread adoption of them among academics. We saw a challenge in translating this desire for infrastructure into a set of requirements that could be used to actually build software that achieved the expectations people had for ORCID identifiers.
A number of tools had already been developed for EPrints, but it seemed as though they weren’t being installed in many places. We set out to ask the community what they wanted from EPrints ORCID integration, so that we could encourage a standardised approach to using ORCID in EPrints.
We started by asking the community what they expected and what they had already done. Some institutions had already implemented parts of the solution, but it was clear that there were no institutions who had a single package doing the whole job. Once we had collected this information, we designed a survey to check whether requirements were standard across all EPrints users, or whether there were groups of users with particular needs.
The survey showed that there were some clear requirements for ORCID integration in EPrints.
- A standard place to record the ORCID identifier
- This would work best as a subfield of the creator/contributor fields.
- This should enable lookup of authors to keep data consistent.
- The format of the ORCID should be validated
- The ORCID could also be authenticated, although this poses challenges for recording consistent ORCID identifiers for external authors.A standard place to record the ORCID identifier
- Include ORCID in all metadata export formats (e.g. JSON, CSV)
- Display ORCID ID as a link in EPrint abstract page & page metadata
- A way of using ORCID identifiers to disambiguate authors (and the wider issue of no author object in EPrints)
- The ability to exchange data with the ORCID service:
- To avoid re-keying the same information in multiple systems
- To synchronise with other systems
- Import / Export from ORCID for administrators
- Record permissions for ORCID connection
There was also a plea to avoid re-inventing the wheel, as a good deal of this development work has already been done. However, this exists in several plugins, so there is work needed to make everything work together and be easily installable. Critically, about half the respondents have hosted installations, so any solution needs to be adopted by EPrints Services and ULCC.
Recommended: Single product
Produce a single product that combines existing work into a single Bazaar package to answer the needs of the community as detailed above. In practice this may need to be several packages, but they should be designed to work together. Some features (e.g. a subfield to record the ORCID identifier) should be included in the core software.
Fund comprehensive documentation to help us all make the best use of the work done. This should include clear instructions on installation and local settings, and support for HEI administrators in implementing ORCID and encouraging adoption. The JISC consortium website is the perfect place for this.
The report was discussed at the September workshop, and now needs to be taken forward to ensure EPrints supports ORCID as standard. This will require further input from the community to create a specification that can be used to implement the recommendations from the report.
The full report is available from the repository at the University of Bath and the anonymised data collected in the survey are also available. For further background check out the blog post on the discussions on repositories and support of ORCID. We welcome comments on this initiative and any other activities you would like the support project to engage in to help with implementation of ORCID in UK higher education institutions. Alternatively contact us through the helpdesk firstname.lastname@example.org