What's an ORCID and why should you care?

Hint: it is not a whale.

Online publishing has created a great potential for finding and sharing research. We often hear from researchers that they not only want to find articles on a topic, but also collaborators, experts in a field, grant opportunities, and other related information. Currently, much of this is possible in a fairly labor-intensive way. You can search grant databases, article citation databases, Websites... but the process will become much richer and simpler when it could be truly automated. True automation will require better data. This is where ORCID comes in.

ORCID provides a way to differentiate authors. There are countless people with the same last names working in similar research areas. If everyone had an ORCID, systems would be able to distinguish between Hazel and Herschel Mitchell in a more meangingful way.

So, we all need to set up our ORCIDs so that one day soon, the data will start to work for us, not the other way around.

To do so, simply register for an ORCID and follow the simple steps of claiming your publications. It only takes a few minutes, I promise. I made a short video of how to register and claim my own publications to prove it. I chose CrossRef Metadata Search as the system to check for my publications, it brought up a list, starting with the most relevant (and accurate). I added these to my ORCID profile. I still need to go back and add my education and other biosketch-like information, and will do so soon, but the first and most important step of registering and claiming publications took less than 2 and a half minutes.

What are you waiting for?