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What is ORCID?

ORCID, Open Researcher and Contributor ID, launched on 16 October 2012 and is growing rapidly around the world.

Watch a short video about ORCID:

What is ORCID? from ORCID on Vimeo.

ORCID has two main functions: that of researcher identification registry, and a means of system-to-system communication for authentication purposes.

ORCID as a researcher registry

An ORCID ID is a 16-digit code that uniquely identifies individual researchers. As most individual names are not unique, an ORCID ID makes it easier to distinguish the work of one researcher from another with the same, or a similar, name. It links different variants of a name, including language characters, and changes in a name through the course of a researcher’s career.

In the same way that a digital object identifier (DOI) identifies a unique publication, an ORCID identifier identifies an individual researcher and their professional activities.  This list of activities included in the researcher’s ORCID list of ‘works’ goes beyond a list of publications; it can be datasets, conference presentations, patents and many other activities.

ORCID sign-up is free for individuals, and the researcher retains complete control over the information in their record. They can choose to make individual sections of their record public, visible to trusted parties or open to view by anyone.

For more information, see here: ORCID for researchers

ORCID as a means of system-to-system communication

ORCID allows computer systems from publishers, funders, or institutions to add information to a researcher’s record, if the researcher grants permission.

  • Publishers can automatically add publications to a researcher’s record
  • Funders can add grants awarded
  • Institutions can assert authority over a researcher’s stated affiliation

Hence, ORCID can be an automatically updated online record of a researcher’s activity. This saves a researcher time, as they can use their ORCID record when applying for funding or inputting research outputs to their organisation’s database.

For more information, see here: ORCID membership for organisations