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By Richard O'Beirne

Richard O’Beirne is the Digital and Journals Strategy Manager at OUP. Here Richard talks about the rationale behind ORCID and how OUP representatives have been working in partnership with the ORCID team to ensure we are providing authors with the support they need to create and use their own ORCID iD.

What is ORCID?

An international collaboration of publishers, researchers, research institutions, and funders is currently working to establish a global registry called ORCID®. The purpose of ORCID is to allow researchers and contributors to academic publications to create for themselves a unique, lifelong ORCID identifier. OUP, in conjunction with our technology partners, is currently rolling out ORCID-related support.


The adoption of ORCID iDs throughout the research, funding, and publishing life cycle will bring significant benefits – simplifying researchers’ workflows, resolving name ambiguity, and ensuring correct attribution of research and other activities.

Resolving name ambiguity

Every researcher’s ORCID iD will uniquely identify themselves among the global research community. A researcher’s ORCID identifier will be persistent throughout changes in the researcher’s own name, or throughout changes in affiliation with research institutions.

Name ambiguity is a global issue. A study in the Journal of the Medical Library Association found that up to 69% of Spanish authors are indexed under more than one name. Another study from the Proceedings of the 9th ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital libraries found 70% of names in Medline are non-unique. In recent years, the growth in published research from Asian countries has caused particular challenges for systems which attempt to disambiguate authors using only name and/or institution. The top 100 surnames in China account for 84.77% of the population. [source].

Furthermore, authors with name variations throughout their publication career (for example, name changes following marriage or divorce) can link all variations of their names to one ORCID identifier.

Ensuring correct attribution

ORCID provides a simple and transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to individuals. These links, as well as other information such as alternative names, and biographical information, are available on a researcher’s ORCID profile page.

Simplifying researchers’ lives

As more systems throughout the research and publishing cycle support ORCID, processes such as manuscript submission, grant application, preparing funding reports, bibliography maintenance, and research evaluation exercises will become more efficient and streamlined. For example, authors will be able to identify themselves in journal manuscript submission systems using their ORCID profile rather than re-entering their details in separate systems each time.

An industry-wide solution

Rather than individual funding organizations, universities, or publishers building solutions in their own domains to provide robust author identification, ORCID solves this problem once, centrally. The ORCID registry has been designed to be easily integrated by any third party service that needs author identifiers.

How authors and researchers get ORCID iDs

Any author can go to and create an ORCID iD for themselves for free. A growing number of institutions such as Harvard are encouraging their staff to register for ORCID identifiers.
The ORCID registry is growing rapidly: at the end of 2013 there were 470,340 ORCID iDs in circulation.

OUP’s plans for ORCID support

OUP is a strong supporter of ORCID and has contributed to ORCID's startup funding. We are currently rolling out ORCID support in our publishing systems.

• Journal submission systems: The first phase of this project will see ORCID support added to our all of the submission systems currently supported by the Oxford Journals platform. This functionality has already been added to our ScholarOne Manuscripts® system, and will next be rolled out on Editorial Manager®. ORCID is now an optional field which the submitting author can fill in. The submission system connects with the ORCID database to validate the ORCID entered by the author. This approach ensures that the ORCID data which is collected is as correct as possible. In due course support for adding ORCID identifiers for co-authors will also be added as well as support for other submission systems. We're also investigating options for journals which do not use submission systems.

• Display of ORCID iDs: As ORCID identifiers are collected, they will be included in the source XML data for articles and displayed online, in compliance with recommended practice issued by ORCID.

• ORCID-enabled functionality: ORCID functionality online will initially allow users to link to the ORCID website to view an author’s profile and list of publications. ORCID identifiers will also be displayed on web pages, and downstreamed to third parties in XML data feeds, where supported.

ORCID and learned societies

The adoption of ORCID in the research world will also bring benefits for learned societies and associations, and ORCID has an ongoing outreach programme that extends into this domain. The October 2013 ORCID Outreach Meeting held in Washington DC focussed in part on ORCID at professional associations. Topics discussed included: how ORCID identifiers are being integrated into association membership and meeting workflows; issues in capturing ORCID iDs during membership renewal or meeting registration; and using ORCID data to support member professional development. OUP is happy to make introductions with ORCID leadership for any OUP society or publishing partner to discuss your ideas about how ORCID can help streamline your workflows.

ORCID organization governance

ORCID is an independent non-profit organization. It is now supported by 111 member organizations from around the world in all facets of the research community, including Oxford University Press. It is governed by an elected Board of Directors comprised of fourteen members of the global scholarly research community, majority non-profit. The Board is responsible for establishing general policies for the governance of ORCID, based on a set of core principles, among them openness and transparency. The ORCID platform's code is posted in an open source repository.

In addition to the Board of Directors, ORCID has several Working Groups, open to the research community. The current board of directors is listed on the ORCID website.

More information

Keep up to date with OUP's orcid developments on

Richard O'BrirneRichard O’Beirne is Digital and Journals Strategy Manager for Oxford University Press. Since joining OUP in 2004, he has worked in various roles across IT and Editorial and represents OUP on a number of publishing industry groups.