Assess the benefits of using ORCIDs
Adopting ORCIDs can offer benefits to institutions and to individual researchers. The advice given here is mainly concerned with the instituitonal benefits, but benefits to individual researchers are clearly described on the ORCID website, and in this video.
Here we present the principal ‘user stories’ that might inform institutional decisions to adopt or promote the use of ORCIDs:
- Fulfil external requirements
- Achieve consistency across systems
- Increase exposure of research
- Support career development
- Encourage early career uptake
In addition to and underlying each of these drivers, the institution may wish to support ORCIDs as a matter of principle, to show a commitment to a global system of identification and collaboration, even if the institutional benefits may only be achieved once ORCIDs are more widely adopted.
1. Fulfil external requirements
User Story: As an institution we want to use identifiers that are mandated by funders (e.g. RCUK, COAF, Horizon 2020) and statistical agencies (e.g. HESA) in order to be compliant and to facilitate the requisite reporting. We also want our researchers to be best placed to submit applications for grant funding and research for publication.
Note: Only a few funders or data collection agencies require the use of ORCIDs, though there is some likelihood that these numbers will increase as ORCID gains traction in the global research ecosystem. ORCIDs are also required in some grant applications (e.g. the Wellcome Trust) and are suggested for use in the next REF; meanwhile publishers are increasingly collecting ORCIDs in submission and publication processes (e.g. the Royal Society).
3. Increase exposure of research
User Story: As an institution we want to ensure our research outputs will be readily identifiable and clearly related on the open web so that we can use those links to amplify our reputation, which will at the same time benefit the individual researchers.
Note: The potential for ORCIDs to link research outputs is immediate and obvious. However there is even greater long term benefit as ORCIDs become embedded as widely used linkages in the infrastructure of the web, and therefore become exponentially more useful to search engines and the evolution of linked data.
4. Support career development
User Story: As an institution we want to help our researchers to bring together their career research and publication records in order to enhance their own practice and to promote more fully their standing and impact, and therefore that of our university, and thus to inform our recruitment, review and reward processes.
Note: This principle might also be applied in a teaching context, where use of ORCIDs offers a means of tagging learning resources, including Open Education Resources. It might be expressed in a more open ended manner in that a university should as a matter of principle support its researchers in aligning with and benefitting from good professional and community practice.
5. Encourage early career uptake
User Story: As an institution we want to encourage young people to develop their career records and statements of experience professionally as postgraduates and even as undergraduates, where adopting lifelong IDs goes hand in hand with encouraging repository deposit.
Note: Despite readiness amongst new generations of students, it is noted that university systems are not always set up to enable this level of engagement; for example, only supporting ORCID registration through the CRIS.
- Benefits to institutions as described by ORCID: http://orcid.org/organizations/institutions
- ORCID list of funder mandates as of December 2015: http://orcid.org/blog/2015/12/04/research-funders-and-orcid-new-members-mandates-and-platforms