Distinguishing researchers with an ORCID
I’m an author on five science papers, see if you can find them. I’ll give you a head start: here’s a link to all the researchers called B Thompson (and variations thereof) that I could find in Pubmed.
Any luck? Of the 1775 (and rising) results, you can discount many (I wasn’t doing research in the 1930’s), but without knowing my area of expertise or affiliated university you could spend all day looking. To make matters more difficult, my papers are spread over several years.
I’ll show you the answer. Here are my papers collated on my ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) profile, a free, not-for-profit service to help researchers distinguish their work from others with similar names, and help funders link researcher output to funding.
In addition to helping to distinguish one B Thompson from another, ORCID will ultimately help to speed up one of the major time-sinks that preventing scientists from getting on with their experiments: paperwork.
Every grant applied for, every manuscript submitted to a journal, every internal report compiled takes time to complete. Much of the information needed – employment history, publication record and the like – is easy for a researcher to collate, but time consuming (and tedious) to fill in.
This is where the ORCID comes in. A number of major publishers and funders including Nature Publishing Group, F1000,Elsevier the Wellcome Trust and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) are integrating the ORCID into their workflow, so that data can be ‘pulled’ and ‘pushed’ between systems to speed up the paper/grant submission process.
ORCID isn’t just to help researchers fill in their forms more efficiently; it’s also designed to help funders track researcher’s progress and whether our grants are producing high quality science. ORCID will help us link the researchers we support to the things they’ve produced and remove name ambiguity, which can make the selection of peer reviewers and experts difficult.
So far, over 60,000 individuals have signed up for ORCID, which has been recommended as the research identifier solution by JISC, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Research Councils UK and the Association of Research Managers and Administrators. Privacy is important of course so, like your Facebook profile, you can tailor your ORCID to display as much information as you’d like. Initially the information that you can add will be restricted to your academic institution and publications, but as more organisations and databases integrate with ORCID, you’ll be able add grants, patents and datasets as well.
You can sign up for an ORCID here.