What is ORCID?

Researchers and scholars face the ongoing challenge of distinguishing scholarly activities from those of others with similar names.  They need to be able to easily and uniquely attach their identity to scholarly work, such as articles, citations, grants, patents and datasets.  As individuals collaborate across disciplines and institutions, they must interact with an increasing number and diversity of information systems.  Entering data over and over again can be time-consuming, and often frustrating.  ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-based effort to reduce that frustration.

ORCID provides a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers.  An ORCID iD is a persistent unique identifier that follows an individual throughout their career, and looks something like “0000-0003-0423-208X.”

ORCID records hold non-sensitive information such as name, email, organization, and activities such as publication, grants, patents and other scholarly works. ORCID provides tools for individuals to manage data privacy.

See What is ORCID for additional information.

Why get an ORCID identifier?

Benefits of getting an ORCID iD include:

  • Ensuring researchers get credit for their work
  • Reducing time to identify scholarly output (see “Publisher integration,” below)
  • Enabling scholars to keep track of and report on their work with funders, publishers and institutions
  • Repurposing data for use in CV generation, citation repositories, BU Profiles, annual reports, faculty web-sites, and other systems (see “Grant submission integration,” below)
  • Tying individuals to their scholarly work should make finding academic papers easier and more accurate

Publisher integration: Elsevier, Thomson Reuters, Nature and other major publishers have begun integrating ORCID iDs into the manuscript submission process, and embedding ORCID identifiers across their scientific and scholarly research ecosystem.  This will save authors time during submission, and enable automatic updating of author bibliographies when articles are published. That information can be ingested into BU systems, at each scholar’s discretion.

Grant submission integration: NIH, NSF and other federal agencies are planning to integrate ORCID iDs into the ScienCV platform, for linking researchers, their grants, and their scientific output.  The US federal government has been working to create a fed-wide profile system to streamline the grants and contract application process and reduce the data entry burden for investigators, and ORCID holds promise to be part of the solution.

What does the process entail?

There are benefits to having Boston University initiate your ORCID record creation, or reporting an existing ORCID, as it paves the way for data exchange between BU and ORCID on behalf of each scholar.

When BU initiates the process, we will upload your name and BU email address to create your ORCID record.  Your email will be set as “public” within ORCID, unless you are hidden in the BU directory, in which case you will be set to “limited” (for more on ORCID privacy settings, see the ORCID Privacy Settings).  You always have the ability to change these settings – the ORCID record is controlled by you, not Boston University.  Individuals who are in BU Profiles will be asked if they want to push select information from BU Profiles to ORCID at the time the ORCID record is created.

ORCID will send you an email to claim your record.  During the claim process they will suggest you set the default privacy setting for new works to be “public.”  Data labeled as either “public” or “limited” will be accessible by BU.  You may be asked to allow BU to be a Trusted Party (gain access to “limited” data), as a final step after claiming your ORCID record.  If you do not claim your record within 10 days, it will become publicly visible.  You can still claim the record at any time, and we encourage you to do so.

For those not in BU Profiles, or with no publication records showing in BU Profiles, you can opt to add works using alternative means, such as the ORCID to Scopus integration.  This option is available even if you have never used Scopus before.  To use this, once logged into ORCID, choose “Update works,” then “Also see Import Research Activities,” to get the “Scopus to ORCID” option.  Additional information on the Scopus integration with ORCID can be found here.  You can use the same process but choose “CrossRef Metadata Search” to search CrossRef’s metadata on journal articles, conference proceedings and monographs, and add results to your ORCID profile.  Additional information on the CrossRef Metadata search can be found here.  Thomson Reuters will be adding integration to Web of Knowledge from within ORCID soon.

If you have questions for Boston University on this process, you can email orcid@bu.edu.

Creating your ORCID / BU Profiles synchronization

Please visit the BU ORCID creation page to create a new ORCID record, or report an existing ORCID to Boston University. If you want to populate your existing ORCID record with BU Profiles data, please visit the BU Profiles/ORCID synchronization page.