If registering for one ID would allow you to:

  • Differentiate yourself from all other authors/researchers of the same name
  • Claim all your publications and display them in one place
  • Continue to build this profile throughout your career regardless of change in institution
  • Link to the profile from your faculty annual report
  • Automatically (without manual input!) populate your profile as you publish and apply for grants
  • Control how much of your profile is publically available

Wouldn't you want to do it? Especially if it was free and took less than a minute?

ORCID logo

The Boston College Libraries recently joined as members of the ORCID organization. We think that broad adoption of ORCID IDs will have significant benefits for individual faculty members, graduate students and researchers at Boston College in addition to helping the University track scholarly output and the careers of its graduates.

ORCID stands for Open Researcher and Contributor ID.

"ORCID is a non-profit organization supported by a global community of organizational members, including research organizations, publishers, funders, professional associations, and other stakeholders in the research ecosystem."
"ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized." http://orcid.org/

One of the primary problems ORCID solves is name ambiguity. Research queries turn up articles by authors of the same name, across a wide variety of disciplines. This issue plagues researchers and university tenure committees alike and the problem increases as interdisciplinary work becomes more common. The ORCID ID is a unique, persistent number that identifies and travels with the researcher through changes in institution. It is not affected by name changes, cultural differences in name order, inconsistent use of initials, or use of different alphabets.

Registering for an ORCID is free for individual members and is easy and brief. Importing publication data using other system IDs and databases (Researcher ID, Scopus, CrossRef and MLA International Bibliography) is fairly seamless. ORCID tracks 37 types of works – including not just text but datasets, performances and art works, making it a system that can be used by all disciplines.

Organizations that track output are increasingly using ORCID to do so. Input fields for an ORCID show up in publisher submission forms, funding applications and university research tracking systems. Many systems make ORCID input mandatory. Over time, this collaborative effort will reduce redundant entry of biographical and bibliographical data into multiple systems. Grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation have supported adoption and integration projects across universities and professional associations. The list of ORCID member integrations is impressive, and includes organizations such as the American Physical Society, the British Library, Elsevier, ProQuest, PLoS, Wellcome Trust and Wiley.

Distinquishing yourself in three easy steps: Register for your ORCID iD, Connect your iD to your work, Use your iD in grants, publications, datasets, and more

At Boston College, the Libraries have integrated submission of an ORCID into the Boston College PhD dissertation workflow. As students submit their dissertations to ProQuest, they are given the option to submit an ORCID (or create and submit one). The ORCID is then added to the record information for the dissertation. As they continue to use their ORCID during their academic careers – in publishing, in grant applications, in profile pages, the University will have a new way to track the scholarly output of its graduates.

The new faculty annual reporting software, Data 180, can allow input of an ORCID ID and linking to the ORCID record. The Libraries, in collaboration with other departments, are just beginning to explore greater integration of ORCIDs in University systems. The more pervasive their adoption, the more useful they become. We hope to roll out a system for ORCID registration that will associate the ID holder with Boston College.

You'll be hearing more about this as plans develop. In the meantime, you can register now for an ORCID, begin to build a complete online academic presence and distinguish yourself unambiguously from all other authors. Many of your colleagues already are doing so.

To learn more about ORCID and to follow our integration plans at Boston College Libraries, consult our ORCID guide. If you have questions or would like to share your experiences or feedback regarding ORCID, we would love to hear it – you can contact Jane Morris or your subject librarian.

Jane Morris
Head Librarian
Scholarly Communications and Research