Last updated

ORCID logo with tagline.svg
Full nameOpen Researcher and Contributor ID
OrganisationORCID, Inc.
Introduced16 October 2012(7 years ago) (2012-10-16)
No. issued7,765,228
No. of digits16
Check digit MOD 11-2
Website orcid.org

The ORCID ( /ˈɔːrkɪd/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a nonproprietary alphanumeric code to uniquely identify scientific and other academic authors and contributors. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] This addresses the problem that a particular author's contributions to the scientific literature or publications in the humanities can be hard to recognize as most personal names are not unique, they can change (such as with marriage), have cultural differences in name order, contain inconsistent use of first-name abbreviations and employ different writing systems. It provides a persistent identity for humans, similar to tax ID numbers, that are created for content-related entities on digital networks by digital object identifiers (DOIs). [6]


The ORCID organization, ORCID Inc., offers an open and independent registry intended to be the de facto standard for contributor identification in research and academic publishing. On 16 October 2012, ORCID launched its registry services [7] [8] and started issuing user identifiers. [9]

Development and launch

ORCID was first announced in 2009 as a collaborative effort by publishers of scholarly research "to resolve the author name ambiguity problem in scholarly communication". [10] The "Open Researcher Contributor Identification Initiative" - hence the name ORCID - was created temporarily prior to incorporation. [11] [12]

A prototype was developed on software adapted from that used by Thomson Reuters for its ResearcherID system. [13] ORCID, Inc. was incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization in August 2010 in Delaware, United States of America, with an international board of directors. [14] [15] Its executive Director, Laurel Haak, was appointed in April 2012. [16] From 2016, the board is chaired by Veronique Kiermer of PLOS [17] (the former chair was Ed Pentz of Crossref). ORCID is freely usable and interoperable with other ID systems. [1] ORCID launched its registry services and started issuing user identifiers on 16 October 2012. [7]


Formally, ORCID iDs are specified as URIs, [18] for example, the ORCID iD for Josiah S. Carberry (a fictitious professor whose iD is used in examples and testing) is https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1825-0097 [19] [20] (both https:// and http:// forms are supported; the former became canonical in November 2017 [21] ). However, some publishers use the short form, e.g. "ORCID: 0000-0002-1825-0097" [22] [23] (as a URN).

ORCID iDs are a subset of the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI), [24] under the auspices of the International Organization for Standardization (as ISO 27729), and the two organizations are cooperating. ISNI will uniquely identify contributors to books, television programmes, and newspapers, and has reserved a block of identifiers for use by ORCID, [24] [25] in the range 0000-0001-5000-0007 to 0000-0003-5000-0001. [26] It is therefore possible for a person to legitimately have both an ISNI and an ORCID iD [27] [28] – effectively, two ISNIs.

Both ORCID and ISNI use 16-character identifiers, [25] using the digits 0–9, and separated into groups of four by hyphens. [22] The final character, which may also be a letter "X" representing the value "10" (for example, Stephen Hawking's ORCID iD is https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9079-593X [29] ), is a MOD 11-2 check digit conforming to the ISO/IEC 7064:2003 standard.


The aim of ORCID is to aid "the transition from science to e-Science, wherein scholarly publications can be mined to spot links and ideas hidden in the ever-growing volume of scholarly literature". [30] Another suggested use is to provide each researcher with "a constantly updated ‘digital curriculum vitae’ providing a picture of his or her contributions to science going far beyond the simple publication list". [1] The idea is that other organizations will use the open-access ORCID database to build their own services.

It has been noted in an editorial in Nature that ORCID, in addition to tagging the contributions that scientists make to papers, "could also be assigned to data sets they helped to generate, comments on their colleagues’ blog posts or unpublished draft papers, edits of Wikipedia entries and much else besides". [1]

In April 2014, ORCID announced plans to work with the Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information to record and acknowledge contributions to peer review. [31]

In an open letter dated 1 January 2016, eight publishers (the Royal Society, PLOS, eLife, EMBO Press, the American Geophysical Union, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Hindawi and Science) committed to requiring authors publishing in their journals to have an ORCID iD. [32] [33]

Members, sponsors and registrants

By the end of 2013 ORCID had 111 member organizations and over 460,000 registrants. [34] [35] [36] On 15 November 2014, ORCID announced the one-millionth registration. [37] As of 1 January 2020, the number of live accounts reported by ORCID was 7,765,228. [38] The organizational members include many research institutions such as Caltech and Cornell University, and publishers such as Elsevier, Springer, Wiley and Nature Publishing Group. There are also commercial companies including Thomson Reuters, academic societies and funding bodies. [39]

Grant-making bodies such as the Wellcome Trust (a charitable foundation) have also begun to mandate that applicants for funding provide an ORCID identifier. [40]

National implementations

In several countries, consortia, including government bodies as partners, are operating at a national level to implement ORCID. For example, in Italy, seventy universities and four research centres are collaborating under the auspices of the Conference of Italian University Rectors  [ it ] (CRUI) and the National Agency for the Evaluation of the University and Research Institutes (ANVUR), in a project implemented by Cineca, a not-for-profit consortium representing the universities, research institutions, and the Ministry of Education. [41] In Australia, the government's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australian Research Council (ARC) "encourage all researchers applying for funding to have an ORCID identifier". [42] The French scientific article repository HAL is also inviting its users to enter their ORCID iD. [43]


Nick Jennings' ORCID in his Wikidata entry 2014-05-13 Nick Jennings ORCID Wikidata screenshot.png
Nick Jennings' ORCID in his Wikidata entry

In addition to members and sponsors, journals, publishers, and other services have included ORCID in their workflows or databases. For example, the Journal of Neuroscience , [44] [45] Springer Publishing, [46] the Hindawi Publishing Corporation, [22] Europe PMC, [47] the Japanese National Institute of Informatics's Researcher Name Resolver, [48] Wikipedia, [49] and Wikidata. [50]

Some online services have created tools for exporting data to, or importing data from, ORCID. These include Scopus, [51] Figshare, [52] Thomson Reuters' ResearcherID system, [53] Researchfish, [54] the British Library (for their EThOS thesis catalogue), [55] ProQuest (for their ProQuest Dissertations and Theses service), [56] and Frontiers Loop. [57]

In October 2015, DataCite, Crossref and ORCID announced that the former organisations would update ORCID records, "when an ORCID identifier is found in newly registered DOI names". [58] [59]

Third-party tools allow the migration of content from other services into ORCID, for example Mendeley2ORCID, for Mendeley.

Some ORCID data may also be retrieved as RDF/XML, RDF Turtle, XML or JSON. [60] [61] ORCID uses GitHub as its code repository. [62]

See also

Related Research Articles

Open access Research publications that are distributed online, free of cost or other barriers

Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research outputs are distributed online, free of cost or other access barriers. With open access strictly defined, or libre open access, barriers to copying or reuse are also reduced or removed by applying an open license for copyright.

Digital object identifier ISO standard unique string identifier for a digital object

A digital object identifier (DOI) is a persistent identifier or handle used to identify objects uniquely, standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). An implementation of the Handle System, DOIs are in wide use mainly to identify academic, professional, and government information, such as journal articles, research reports, data sets, and official publications. However, they also have been used to identify other types of information resources, such as commercial videos.

Scopus is Elsevier’s abstract and citation database launched in 2004. Scopus covers nearly 36,377 titles from approximately 11,678 publishers, of which 34,346 are peer-reviewed journals in top-level subject fields: life sciences, social sciences, physical sciences and health sciences. It covers three types of sources: book series, journals, and trade journals. All journals covered in the Scopus database, regardless of who they are published under, are reviewed each year to ensure high quality standards are maintained. Searches in Scopus also incorporate searches of patent databases. Scopus gives four types of quality measure for each title; those are h-Index, CiteScore, SJR and SNIP.

In library science, authority control is a process that organizes bibliographic information, for example in library catalogs by using a single, distinct spelling of a name (heading) or a numeric identifier for each topic. The word authority in authority control derives from the idea that the names of people, places, things, and concepts are authorized, i.e., they are established in one particular form. These one-of-a-kind headings or identifiers are applied consistently throughout catalogs which make use of the respective authority file, and are applied for other methods of organizing data such as linkages and cross references. Each controlled entry is described in an authority record in terms of its scope and usage, and this organization helps the library staff maintain the catalog and make it user-friendly for researchers.

Google Scholar Academic search service by Google

Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines. Released in beta in November 2004, the Google Scholar index includes most peer-reviewed online academic journals and books, conference papers, theses and dissertations, preprints, abstracts, technical reports, and other scholarly literature, including court opinions and patents. While Google does not publish the size of Google Scholar's database, scientometric researchers estimated it to contain roughly 389 million documents including articles, citations and patents making it the world's largest academic search engine in January 2018. Previously, the size was estimated at 160 million documents as of May 2014. An earlier statistical estimate published in PLOS ONE using a Mark and recapture method estimated approximately 80–90% coverage of all articles published in English with an estimate of 100 million. This estimate also determined how many documents were freely available on the web.

PubMed Central (PMC) is a free digital repository that archives open access full-text scholarly articles that have been published in biomedical and life sciences journals. As one of the major research databases developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), PubMed Central is more than a document repository. Submissions to PMC are indexed and formatted for enhanced metadata, medical ontology, and unique identifiers which enrich the XML structured data for each article. Content within PMC can be linked to other NCBI databases and accessed via Entrez search and retrieval systems, further enhancing the public's ability to discover, read and build upon its biomedical knowledge.

Crossref one of the official Digital Object Identifier Registration Agencies of the International DOI Foundation

Crossref is an official Digital Object Identifier (DOI) Registration Agency of the International DOI Foundation. It is run by the Publishers International Linking Association Inc. (PILA) and was launched in early 2000 as a cooperative effort among publishers to enable persistent cross-publisher citation linking in online academic journals.

The International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) is an identifier for uniquely identifying the public identities of contributors to media content such as books, television programmes, and newspaper articles. Such an identifier consists of 16 digits. It can optionally be displayed as divided into four blocks.

ResearcherID is an identifying system for scientific authors. The system was introduced in January 2008 by Thomson Reuters.

In the Dutch research system, the Digital Author Identifier (DAI) system assigns a unique number to all academic authors as a form of authority control. The DAI links the PICA database in institutional libraries with the METIS national research information system.

Virtual International Authority File International authority file

The Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).

Frontiers Media SA is a publisher of peer-reviewed open access scientific journals currently active in science, technology, and medicine. It was founded in 2007 by a group of neuroscientists, including Henry and Kamila Markram, and later expanded to other academic fields. Frontiers is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, with other offices in London, Madrid, Seattle and Brussels. All Frontiers journals are published under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY).

<i>PeerJ</i> Academic journal

PeerJ is an open access peer-reviewed scientific mega journal covering research in the biological and medical sciences. It is published by a company of the same name that was co-founded by CEO Jason Hoyt and publisher Peter Binfield, with financial backing of US$950,000 from O'Reilly Media and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. It was officially launched in June 2012, started accepting submissions on December 3, 2012, and published its first articles on February 12, 2013. The company is a member of CrossRef, CLOCKSS, ORCID, and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association. The company's offices are in Corte Madera, and London.

Altmetrics study of alternative metrics for analyzing and informing scholarship

In scholarly and scientific publishing, altmetrics are non-traditional bibliometrics proposed as an alternative or complement to more traditional citation impact metrics, such as impact factor and h-index. The term altmetrics was proposed in 2010, as a generalization of article level metrics, and has its roots in the #altmetrics hashtag. Although altmetrics are often thought of as metrics about articles, they can be applied to people, journals, books, data sets, presentations, videos, source code repositories, web pages, etc. Altmetrics use public APIs across platforms to gather data with open scripts and algorithms. Altmetrics did not originally cover citation counts, but calculate scholar impact based on diverse online research output, such as social media, online news media, online reference managers and so on. It demonstrates both the impact and the detailed composition of the impact. Altmetrics could be applied to research filter, promotion and tenure dossiers, grant applications and for ranking newly-published articles in academic search engines.

Figshare is an online open access repository where researchers can preserve and share their research outputs, including figures, datasets, images, and videos. It is free to upload content and free to access, in adherence to the principle of open data. Figshare is one of a number of portfolio businesses supported by Digital Science.

In computing, a Research Object is a method for the identification, aggregation and exchange of scholarly information on the Web. The primary goal of the research object approach is to provide a mechanism to associate related resources about a scientific investigation so that they can be shared using a single identifier. As such, research objects are an advanced form of Enhanced publication.

A Ringgold Identifier is a persistent numeric unique identifier for organizations in the publishing industry supply chain. Ringgold's Identify Database includes over 500,000 Ringgold IDs representing organizations and consortia who acquire scholarly publications and content.

Amy Brand a leader in the field of scholarly communication and research information, is the current director of the MIT Press, a position she assumed in July 2015. Previously, Brand served as the assistant provost of faculty appointments and information at Harvard University, and as a vice president at Digital Science.

Initiative for Open Citations collaboration between scholarly publishers, researchers, and other interested parties to promote the unrestricted availability of scholarly citation data

The Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC) is a project launched publicly in April 2017, that describes itself as:

a collaboration between scholarly publishers, researchers, and other interested parties to promote the unrestricted availability of scholarly citation data and to make these data available.

María Guðjónsdóttir Icelandic academic

María Guðjónsdóttir is a professor of food science at the University of Iceland.


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