ORCID stands for “Open Researcher and Contributor IDentifier”. ORCID iD is a persistent identifier of researchers. It is a 16-digit combination of numbers (example: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3237-9305) that is internationally recognised as the standard for the unique and permanent identification of all persons involved in the research and publication processes in science. ORCID iD allows authors with the same or similar names to be distinguished from each other, as well as solving the problems associated with listing names in different forms.
You can use the ORCID iD to link to the publications, research data and other products of the research process (e.g. research software). This makes these objects visible and reliably linked to their creators.
The use of ORCID iD is supported by the European Commission – it is required by Horizon Europe, the Open Research Europe publishing platform and the European Open Science Cloud infrastructure. It is recommended to include the ORCID iD when submitting data on research results to the Information Register of R&D results (part of R&D Information System).
The ORCID iD must be provided if you publish with major publishers (Elsevier, Springer Nature, The Royal Society, Wiley, IEEE, etc.) The emphasis on the use of ORCID iD among publishers is increasing.
Of course, ORCID iD is also applicable to the storage and sharing of research data, and it helps to fulfil the FAIR principles. The FAIR principles represent the key elements necessary to effectively manage, share and reuse research data.
ORCID is compatible with the ISO standard (ISO 27729).
Benefits for researchers
The ORCID iD and the automatically associated researcher profile are free for researchers. You can get an ORCID iD easily by registering at https://orcid.org/register. When registering, you only need to provide your name and email address.
The ORCID iD allows you to distinguish yourself from other researchers with the same or similar name and to uniquely link the outputs of your scientific activities (articles, data, reviews, etc.) to your person. If your name changes during the lifetime, ORCID iD will help to reduce the negative consequences of this change.
You add information to the ORCID profile manually, but the profile can also be linked to other systems (e.g. CrossRef, Web of Science databases, etc.) or identifiers (Scopus ID, Publons) and be automatically updated. The originator of each entry is then indicated – it is easy to see whether you added the publication information to the profile yourself or whether it was added directly by the publisher or university.
If your home institution is a member of ORCID, you can give the institution permission to manage the profile and save time. This way, the information will not only be up-to-date, but also trustworthy and you will have more space for the research activity itself.
You still have full control over your profile and determine what information is listed on it and who can see it.
ORCID in institutions
Organisations can integrate ORCID identifiers into their repositories, publication record systems and other systems and workflows using the freely available public ORCID Application Programming Interface (API) or become paying members of ORCID and access additional functionality not included in the public API.
Integration with the internal organisation’s system will allow validation of records listed on the ORCID profile, e.g. manually entered by the researcher or from a trusted source. This way even information uploaded from e.g. DataCite will be validated by the institution. Such data can then be considered trustworthy and can be used for grant applications, preparation of manuscript submission, etc. Records can also be transcribed the other way around, i.e. from the ORCID profile to the internal system.
The Member API allows organisations to log in to the researchers’ ORCID profiles once they have been granted permissions, e.g. ensuring that each researcher has the affiliation of the relevant university/research organisation in the profile. Furthermore, the organisation integrates ORCID identifiers through an automated process and its researchers will not have to enter them manually, which can lead to errors.