How ORCID can save you time and boost your profile

The Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) was launched in 2012 and over the last ten years has become a key piece of digital infrastructure – used by Universities, funders and publishers. In this piece, Sally Tape, Research Outputs Senior Officer, discusses the many ways in which ORCID can help you throughout your research career and the exciting new functionality between Elements and ORCID.

What is ORCID?

ORCID is a type of persistent identifier (PID) and available free of charge to researchers around the globe. The unique persistent 16-digit author identifier helps link researchers (from all disciplines) and their scholarly contributions into the digital research lifecycle. An ORCID is vital in reducing author ambiguity, which is all the more important if you have a common name. It also further minimises the need to manually enter author, organisation, and publication data over and over or to correct research output information across multiple platforms.

It is a University requirement that all Academic staff and Graduate Researchers at the University of Melbourne register for an ORCID. Academic staff are required to create and connect their ORCID to Elements while Graduate Researchers are required to include an ORCID on the title page of their thesis. These requirements are in place because of the value ORCID provides to both researchers and the staff that work behind the scenes to maintain accurate institutional profiles.

Why is ORCID so valuable?

Automation creates many efficiencies. Here at the University of Melbourne, research output information produced by Academic staff and Graduate Researchers, is collected, and managed in a research management system called Elements. To minimise the need to manually enter research output details, PIDs such as ORCID, Scopus Author ID and Dimensions IDs are used to harvest information maintained in global scholarly information databases.

The use of PIDs to collect research output information in Elements increases the accuracy of metadata in the collection, management, and dissemination of scholarly information.  Elements automatically collects and associates research output information to a profile once a PID has been linked to that profile in the system. Basically, it saves everyone a lot of time.

Discoverability is a bit of a buzz word and for good reason. As a researcher, you want potential collaborators to be able to find you and easily verify your expertise. As we have already established, linking ORCID to publishing and institutional databases creates a unique catalogue of research, where research output information is both collected and distributed.

A public facing ORCID is indexed by Google and will rank higher within a Google search return list, making research outputs more discoverable. This ensures wider audience and peer access to digital research content across the globe.

Independence and the freedom to move without beginning again is a nice thought.  Being an independent and broadly used information platform, ORCID enables the accurate capture of scholarly work from around the globe.  As such, using ORCID correctly is essential for supporting a move to a new institution or a funding application. Creating and maintaining an ORCID allows for easy uploading of scholarly works from an ORCID profile to many research systems worldwide.

How can I easily keep my ORCID up to date?

Research outputs can now be automatically sent from Elements to ORCID, making it easier to keep the two accounts in sync. This enhancement is of particular benefit to academics whose research outputs are primarily manually added to Elements, rather than harvested from external sources like Scopus and Web of Science.  These outputs will now only need to be added once, in Elements, for them to appear in ORCID. If you have already configured Elements to ‘read’ from your ORCID account, details on how to authorise Elements to ‘write’ to ORCID are available here.

The ORCID registration and connection guide on the Research Gateway provides step by step instructions on how to fulfill University requirements.  Details on how to enable Elements to send your research outputs to your ORCID profile are available here.

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