UKRI OA policy – response from UK ORCID consortium lead
As the lead organisation for the UK ORCID Consortium, we are delighted to see what is pragmatically a mandate for ORCID iD, for all contributors to a scholarly output in the new UKRI Open Access Policy
Technical requirements for journals and publishing platforms (4g) and institutional and subject repositories (5d):
common unique PIDs for research management information (for example identifiers for funders and /or organisations) are strongly encouraged; ORCID, the researcher identifier, must be supported to identify all authors and contributors
To see that mandate, and further PID recommendations, applied to both repositories and publisher workflows will result in a great improvement to the information underpinning the scholarly ecosystem. The Jisc response to the whole policy states:
…we will continue to work with institutions and stakeholders to build capacity, adoption and implementation of persistent identifiers…
ORCID greeted the news with a Tweet
Looking at UKRI’s own funding infrastructure, earlier in the year they launched an update to Je-S that was the first ever capture of grant peer review to ORCID records.
Enhanced integration of ORCID in our systems … is also a key part of our ambition to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and promote open research across our communities.UKRI news
As a community of practice, we can now look forward to ORCID iDs flowing from publisher workflows, guided by the funder’s mandate, potentially with more funders to follow, given the wording is a direct lift of the Plan S technical recommendations.
What about the infrastructure that we manage through our organisations? It is welcome indeed to have a firm set of recommendations to refer to, to strengthen our case in institutional conversations. As a consortium we will work together to support each other. As the leader of the national group, we will champion voices and act as an advocate where we are required.
ORCID itself provides a workflow for co-author linking to enable collecting ORCID iDs for all contributors. This involves sending a request for ORCID iD validation, via a special email link, to co-authors. The recommended best practice is
Collecting authenticated ORCID iDs for all the authors ensures that they are recognized for their contribution, identified correctly within your own systems and within the works metadata.
Collecting via text boxes or search will inevitably result in misattribution, so should be avoided.
One concern is that the facility to email a special link as recommended is implemented in a very limited way, so far few implementations exist (OJS is one example where it is available). For this reason, it may be that pragmatism is the enemy of perfect given that systems must be in place by April 2022, unless we see an acceleration in implementation of this feature.
So what can we do?
- Build and revise our advocacy and communication toolkit
- Our consortium has an activity lined up – look out for details soon
- Use information from the cost benefit analysis from the PIDs for OA project, for example it points to a saving of £2.4M over the first 5 years of the ORCID consortium
- Advocate in our vendor communities
- Welcoming the mandate for full contributor ORCID Support
- Ask for a clear roadmap from vendors to respond to the technical requirements for implementing any further features needed in their systems
- Communicate to our researchers and wider institutional academy
- The need to have one (and only one) ORCID iD
- Highlight where they can use the advantages of PIDs (especially ORCID) to gain efficiencies and save time – pulling in information and not rekeying
- Communicate to institutional leadership
- The value of the systems and policies we already have
- The strong support from UKRI
- The need for ORCID (and PIDs in general) to be part of procurement specifications
Finally, we heartily thank you, the 99 higher education institutions and research organisations who have joined the consortium since it was launched in 2015. You have helped to make ORCID implementation successful through technical developments and by spreading the message about persistent identifiers. Your commitment to work together towards these goals is a commitment to achieve transformational change for the research sector that we all serve.