Tools for our members – who has an ORCID ID?
At the end of February 2019, the UK ORCID consortium looks set to reach 100 member institutions. Since the launch in 2015, our members have been involved in creating a community of ORCID implementors. As a community, we consider strategies to tackle challenges that span policy, advocacy and technical infrastructure. We work together towards solutions for improving the technical landscape (the tools available) within the context that our member institutions operate in.
Events are one of the key ways in which practitioners in the UK ORCID consortium come together to exchange ideas and discuss common needs. We have been fortunate to be able to run several events including annual members days [Register for 2019], as well as smaller hands-on activities such as workshops and hackdays.
A common theme that has emerged from these events is that there is a need for a tool which helps managers to obtain an overview of ORCID activity in their institution, to help with reporting and planning. Requests to the Jisc support team that arrive through the help desk also reflect this need. One of the most common questions that we are asked is about finding out who at the institution has an ORCID ID.
The Jisc support team, with input from ORCID, and together with the community, wishes to move forward with providing a solution for this need. In February we held a small event, with invited developers, to start sketching out the solution space. The problem space is quite well understood, and has been captured in previous reports, see 
This recording from our 2016 event gives you a flavour of our events, from the participants themselves, and from approx 4.00 minutes, some comments from two UK Higher Education institutions describing how they would use the information about ORCID IDs, that are still very relevant today.
Later this month, we are offering a 2-day workshop in which we want to explore prototype solutions, with input from stakeholders. The event combines elements of a hackday and training, bringing together developers and users to help evolve the prototype for a UK Dashboard (a tool to help institutions review their use of ORCID ID).
What problem does this tool solve?
Institutional managers monitoring and promoting uptake of ORCID would like to answer questions such as:
- How many of my researchers have an ORCID ID?
- How many of those researchers have connected to my institutional system, and how many have not, and who are they?
The problem can be reframed as follows:
As a Faculty Research lead, Faculty administrator, Impact and engagement officer, Research administrator or member of the library research support team, I want to be able to access an institutional ORCiD dashboard, in order to see how many researchers in my institution have registered for an ORCiD ID and an overview of their activity (e.g. number of publications), and report on this to senior staff in the institution.
Whilst there are some existing tools, such as ORCID’s advanced search, through which a search for ORCID record holders with an institutional affiliation can be carried out, our experience with assisting users to explore and learn to use these tools tells us that a more user friendly and accessible tool with better features is needed. The potential users of this tool have already told us in some detail how they would like it to work. As a community we now need to work towards a practical solution.
Who should attend the event in March?
You are very welcome to attend if you are able to contribute to the development of the Dashboard. You could be a potential user of the Dashboard. During the event you will be involved in providing feedback on the developing prototypes. An iterative approach is being used within an agile development philosophy – developing the tool incrementally, with short development sprints and immediate feedback to shape the next iteration. You will be helping to determine the priority features for development and making suggestions for the details of how the interface should work, by telling us what would be most useful to you. Or you could be a developer that is able to contribute to the code base – perhaps developing some of the interface or visualisation aspects. Or perhaps your familiarity with institutional systems (such as CRIS) will help with combining institutional data sources with Open Sources (e.g. the ORCID registry) to deliver this tool. Participation at the event will be in two streams to cater for those doing development and stakeholders who are non-developers, with opportunities for all participants to work together.
We are also using this workshop to deliver some training for non-technical members of the community to understand the ORCID API. Whilst ORCID offers technical tutorials for developers making calls to the API, this training addresses the API at a higher level, to help managers understand what is possible, to equip them to be able to have informed conversations with vendors or technical colleagues about the technical infrastructure needed within the institution.
This event presents a hands-on opportunity for collaborative working, to be part of producing something useful for the UK ORCID consortium, whilst learning and understanding more about ORCID IDs and how to use them. We look forward to welcoming you at the event – note spaces are limited so please register as soon as possible. Do get in touch if you have any questions.
Further information and booking
Location: Churchgate house, Manchester
Date: Tuesday 26 March (11:00 – 17:00) to Wednesday 27 March (09:00 – 15:00)