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ORCID Österreich Konsortium: Gründung und Perspektive

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 - 13:56 UTC

 

Dieser Beitrag wurde von Paloma Marin Arraiza und Christian Gumpenberger verfasst.

Im Jänner 2019 haben sich die TU Wien (vertreten durch die TU Wien Bibliothek) und die Universität Wien (vertreten durch die Universitätsbibliothek Wien) zusammengeschlossen, um das neu gegründete ORCID Österreich Konsortium zu leiten. Dieses zielt darauf ab, die Akzeptanz und Relevanz der ORCID iD als eindeutige Identifikatorenlösung für Forschende in Österreich zu erhöhen. Elf Mitgliedinstitutionen werden vorerst dem Konsortium beitreten. Die Gründung ist das Ergebnis einer mehrjährigen bundesweiten Diskussion über die Einführung von Personenidentifikatoren in der österreichischen Forschungslandschaft, welche von der AG Szientometrie der Universität Wien im Jahr 2014 initiiert wurde, und vom österreichischen Wissenschaftsfonds (FWF) mit großem Engagement unterstützt. Seit 2017 hat sich das staatlich geförderte Projekt E-Infrastructures Austria Plus zudem für einen Dialog zwischen Forschungsbibliotheken, Forschungsförderung und IT-Abteilungen eingesetzt, um den Bedarf für eine konsortiale Lösung zu erheben.

Eines der Hauptziele des ORCID Österreich Konsortiums ist es, ORCID als primären eindeutigen Personenidentifikator für die Forschenden in Österreich zu etablieren. Die ORCID iD soll nicht nur als ein weiterer austauschbarer und zufälliger Identifikator wahrgenommen werden. Sie soll vielmehr als eine ausgefeilte übergreifende Identifikatorenlösung verstanden werden, die Forschenden hilft, ihre Forschungsaktivitäten effizient zu verwalten und zu vernetzen sowie Anerkennung für die eigenen Beiträge zu erhalten. Gut gepflegte ORCID-Datensätze vereinfachen auch die Einschätzung von Forschungsleistung und erhöhen die Zuverlässigkeit des Bewertungsprozesses gleichermaßen für Institutionen und Forschende. Wir ermutigen daher sowohl Mitglieds- als auch Nichtmitgliedsinstitutionen in Österreich, die Vorteile von ORCID hervorzuheben und die Initiative bei ihren Forschenden zu fördern, indem sie sich an der Nutzung der ORCID-API zum Informationsaustausch beteiligen und die Forschenden bei der Verwaltung ihrer ORCID-Datensätze aktiv unterstützen.

Als gemeinsame Konsortialleitung werden die TU Wien und die Universität Wien mit allen Stakeholdern in Österreich zusammenarbeiten, um ORCID Outreach und Advocacy an österreichischen Institutionen zu ermutigen und offene Forschungsaktivitäten und Best Practices für das Forschungsdatenmanagement zu fördern. Unterstützt von ORCID-MitarbeiterInnen werden unsere beiden Institutionen den Mitgliedern des ORCID Österreich Konsortiums grundlegenden Support anbieten. Diesen benötigen sie, um ORCID erfolgreich in ihren Institutionen einzuführen und von einem verbesserten Zugriff auf bzw. Integration in die ORCID Registry zu profitieren.

Für das ORCID Österreich Konsortium verfassen wir derzeit eine gemeinsame Grundsatzerklärung. Outreach-Aktivitäten wie Workshops und Webinare sind für 2019 geplant, einschließlich eines Launch Events in Wien am 13. Juni 2019.

Wir werden über unsere zukünftigen Fortschritte informieren. Fragen sind jederzeit willkommen und können an paloma.arraiza@tuwien.ac.at oder christian.gumpenberger@univie.ac.at gerichtet werden.

ÜBER DIE TU WIEN BIBLIOTHEK

Die TU Wien Bibliothek hat als Bibliothek der wichtigsten tertiären Bildungsinstitution Österreichs in den Natur- und Technikwissenschaften bereits ein großes Interesse an Open Science und Open Access. Sie hat mehrere Services implementiert, welche diese Entwicklung unterstützen. Zu diesen Dienstleistungen gehören die Gründung eines Zentrums für Forschungsdatenmanagement mit Schwerpunkt auf persistente Identifikatoren und eine aktive Beteiligung an der Ausarbeitung von Richtlinien für Open Access und Forschungsdatenmanagement zur Unterstützung der GO FAIR-Initiative. Sie veranstaltete auch relevante Konferenzen, wie z.B. die Reihe Focus on Open Science Chapter Vienna 2018.

Kontakt: paloma.arraiza@tuwien.ac.at

 

ÜBER DIE UNIVERSITÄT WIEN

Die Universität Wien ist eine der ältesten und größten Universitäten Europas. Die Universitätsbibliothek Wien beschäftigt sich bereits seit vielen Jahren mit modernen forschungsunterstützenden Services im Allgemeinen und der Bibliometrie im Besonderen. Die Universität Wien war daher auch als Entwicklungspartner ein ORCID-Vorreiter und wurde schließlich im Juni 2018 institutionelles Mitglied.  Dieses Engagement geht einher mit der Implementierung von Digital Object Identifier (DOI), Uniform Resource Name (URN) und Handle-ID als persistente Identifikatoren in PHAIDRA, dem Digital Asset Management System der Universität. ORCID wurde bereits im vierten Quartal 2018 erfolgreich in das aktuelle Forschungsinformationssystem der Universität u:cris implementiert und ausgerollt.

Kontakt: christian.gumpenberger@uniwien.ac.at

Blog

ORCID Austria Consortium: Foundation and Perspectives

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 - 13:46 UTC

 

This post is authored by Paloma Marin Arraiza and Christian Gumpenberger

In January 2019, the TU Wien (represented by the TU Wien Bibliothek) and the University of Vienna (represented by the Vienna University Library) joined forces to lead the newly-formed ORCID Austria Consortium, which aims to increase the uptake and relevance of the ORCID iD as a unique identifier for researchers in Austria. Eleven member institutions, in the first instance, are joining the consortium, which is the result of several years of nationwide discussion, initiated by the Scientometrics Working Group of the University of Vienna in 2014, and enthusiastically supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), about the introduction of a person identifier in the Austrian research community. Starting in 2017, the government-funded project E-Infrastructures Austria Plus also promoted discussions between research libraries, research support, and IT departments to define the need for a consortium project.

One of the main aims of the ORCID Austria Consortium is to establish ORCID as the primary unique person identifier for researchers in the Austrian research ecosystem -- not just another exchangeable and random identifier, but a sophisticated umbrella identifier solution to help researchers efficiently manage and link their research activities, and get credit for their contributions. Well-maintained ORCID records also simplify research assessment activities, making the evaluation process more reliable for institutions and researchers alike. We therefore encourage member and non-member institutions in Austria to highlight the advantages of ORCID, promote it among their researchers, and get involved in using the ORCID API to exchange information and help researchers manage their ORCID record.  

As joint consortia lead organizations, TU Wien and the University of Vienna will engage with the community to encourage ORCID outreach and advocacy in Austrian institutions, and to foster open research activities and best practices for research data management. Backed up by ORCID staff where needed, our two institutions will provide ORCID Austria Consortium members with the basic support they need to successfully implement ORCID in their participating institutions, and to benefit from improved access to and integration with the ORCID Registry.

We are currently developing a joint statement of principles for the ORCID Austria Consortium. Outreach activities, such as workshops and webinars, are planned along 2019, including the launch event in Vienna, on  June 13, 2019.

We will update you on our future progress. Questions are welcome at any time and can be addressed to paloma.arraiza@tuwien.ac.at or christian.gumpenberger@univie.ac.at.  

ABOUT TU WIEN BIBLIOTHEK

The TU Wien Bibliothek, as the library of Austria’s most important tertiary educational institution in the natural and technical sciences, has a keen interest in open research and open access, and has implemented several supporting services. These include the foundation of a Center for Research Data Management, with a focus on persistent identifiers, and an active involvement in the creation of policies on open access and research data management to support the GO FAIR initiative. TU Wien Bibliothek has also hosted relevant conferences, such as Focus on Open Sciences series in 2018. Contact: paloma.arraiza@tuwien.ac.at

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA

The University of Vienna is one of the oldest and largest universities in Europe, and its library has been providing research support services, including bibliometrics, for many years. The university joined ORCID as an institutional member in June 2018, and has already implemented Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), Uniform Resource Names (URNs) and Handle-IDs as persistent identifiers in the university’s  digital asset management system, PHAIDRA, as well as  successfully rolling out and implementing ORCID in the university’s current research information system u:cris in late 2018. Contact: christian.gumpenberger@univie.ac.at.

Blog

Friends of ORCID

Thu, 07 Feb 2019 - 18:19 UTC

At ORCID, we are all about community. We’re here to serve the research community in its broadest sense, and we do so by working with you, our friends, in that community.

What does it mean to be a friend of ORCID?

Just as friendship takes many forms, there are many ways that you can help us achieve our shared vision -- of a world where all who participate in research, scholarship, and innovation, are uniquely identified and connected with their contributions and affiliations across disciplines, borders, and time. Volunteering your time to serve on one of our Working Groups or Task Forces, helping us with UI/UX testing, joining our newly launched Friends of ORCID Slack channel, or simply giving us your feedback by taking our community survey -- these are just a few examples of how to get involved.

Calling all researchers!

Since 2019 is our Year of the Researcher, we are especially keen for researchers to be well-represented in our projects and activities. Make sure we hear what you have to say by:

  • Taking our community survey. It will take around 10 minutes and we’ll publish the results later this year. This is your chance to tell us what you like about ORCID (and what you don’t!), how you use your ORCID iD, and more. We’ll be listening!
  • Volunteer to be a UI/UX tester. Our newest staff member, Mallory Robertson, joined us this week as our first User Experience Specialist. Look out for a post from her shortly with more details. In the meantime, please contact us if you’d like to provide feedback to help us improve our user interface.
  • Join our soon-to-be launched Academia & Beyond Task Force. This year, we’re going to be taking a deep dive into the Arts & Humanities, Life Science, and Clinical Medicine communities. Understanding what makes these communities different, as well as what they have in common, is vital to serving their needs. To do this, we need input from a wide range of researchers in these fields -- across different geographies, career stages, and subjects. Interested? Get in touch for more details.
  • Follow the work of our Person Citations Working Group. They will be thinking through use cases, data models, and possible functionality to enable grouping and citation of a body of a person’s contributions.
Thank you to our Working Group and Task Force members

In addition to our ongoing, Board-led Working Groups (Membership and Fees, ORCID in Publishing, and Trust) there are typically several ad hoc ORCID Working Groups and Task Forces in place at any one time.

Our thanks to the 80+ community volunteers from all over the world who participated in these groups during 2018, as well as to everyone who commented on their recommendations:

  • Membership and Fees Working Group. Charged with exploring options to lower technology barriers, improve data quality, and expand the reach of ORCID in underserved communities
  • ORBIT Funder Working Group. Provides expert input on the ORBIT project, including mapping data model requirements, and discussing topics such as persistent identifiers for grants, interactions with publishers, data sharing workflows, and administrative burden for researchers
  • ORCID in Publishing Working Group. Aims to increase knowledge and adoption of new ORCID programs and initiatives by the publishing community, and to increase ways for the publishing community to inform and support existing and new programs and initiatives
  • ORCID in Repositories Task Force. Charged with reviewing, providing feedback on, and further developing the proposed recommendations for supporting ORCID in repository systems. Draft recommendations were shared for public comment in November and the final recommendations will be published shortly
  • Publications and User Facilities. During 2018 the group worked on implementing their recommendations, including launching the Research Resources section of the ORCID record
  • Trust Working Group. Activities last year included reviewing our trust practices, engaging in our work on assertion assurance and on-behalf-of workflows, and considering interactions with blockchain initiatives

As part of the RIPEN program, we are working to recognize the service of our volunteers on their ORCID records (with their permission, of course!). Look out for more on this in a future post.

  Blog

Enjoying a Bit of the PIDapalooza Craic in Dublin

Wed, 30 Jan 2019 - 13:29 UTC

The third PIDapalooza festival of open identifiers took place in Dublin, Ireland on January 23-24. Around 150 PID people from 22 countries met for two days to talk about all things persistent identifier-related.

From Gareth Murphy’s opening keynote on the use of PIDs at the European Spallation Source (they generate tens of petabytes of data annually, and it needs to be managed “PID-centrically”) to Suze Kundu’s Friends-inspired closing summary, we were kept engaged and entertained throughout -- including an official Irish welcome from Uilleann piper, Mark Redmond!

Ten ORCID staff attended PIDapalooza 2019, and we all participated in an hour-long session -- ORCID-Orama at PIDapalooza -- which used a circus theme to introduce our 4-ring strategic themes and associated 2019 projects, and included a game of ORCID bingo for the audience, which proved very popular (lots of winners!).

Some of the other highlights included a fascinating session on the use of persistent identifiers for movies; the launch of pidforum.org -- a new online community for all things PID-related; an update on two recent PID workshops and an invitation to get involved; an introduction to the Openness Profile -- a pilot program for using PID infrastructure to share a wide range of contributions to open research; a lively brainstorming session for the ROR (Research Organization Registry) Community; and much more (where available, presentations are being added to the PIDapalooza 2019 repository). Not forgetting the first-ever PIDapalooza pub quiz, with quizmaster extraordinaire, Ed Pentz, Executive Director of Crossref and ORCID Board member.

Over 100 attendees participated in our online temperature check session at the end of the meeting. They rated PIDapalooza highly compared with other conferences they attend (4.3 stars out of a possible 5), with the short half-hour sessions rated most highly (over 50% of the vote). As to the all-important question of where the next PIDapalooza should take place -- all we’re saying for now is, watch this space!

In the meantime, we’ve said farewell to the PIDapalooza eternal flame -- until next time...

  Blog

Free for Everyone, Always: The ORCID Public API and Data File

Fri, 11 Jan 2019 - 04:38 UTC

As part of our commitment to openness, we have a public API that is available for community use, and we also release an annual snapshot of publicly available data in the ORCID Registry. We’re always excited to learn about interesting ways these tools are being used by the community! Here are some that we know about; we’d love to learn about others! If you’re using the public API rather than the member one, please remember to still follow our best practices for authenticating and displaying iDs - this helps build a trusted PID infrastructure for everyone’s benefit!

Project THOR

As you may know, ORCID was one of the partners in this EU-funded project, which aimed to “establish seamless integration between articles, data, and researchers across the research lifecycle.” One of the outputs of this project was a Study of ORCID Adoption Across Disciplines and Locations, based on the 2016 ORCID public data file. Among the study’s key findings were:

  • There’s a higher representation of ORCID iDs in the natural, health and applied sciences than in arts, humanities, economic and social sciences
  • However, the proportion of humanists with ORCID iDs is disproportionately high compared with the number of researchers in this field overall (9.6% versus 4.1%)
  • The proportion of humanities users doubled between 2012-16 from 4.1% to 9.6%, but the number of works connected to their records only grew by about 50% during that period, from 3.8% to 5.5%
  • There are far more ORCID iD holders in Europe than in any other region

We’ll be updating this analysis as part of our Academia and Beyond project in 2019 - more on that soon!

OpenCitations

OpenCitations is a scholarly infrastructure organization, directed by David Shotton and Silvio Peroni, which is dedicated to open scholarship and the publication of open bibliographic and citation data using Semantic Web (Linked Data) technologies. The organization is also engaged in advocacy for semantic publishing and open citations. One of its main outputs is the OpenCitations Corpus (OCC), an open database of downloadable bibliographic and citation data that conforms to the OpenCitations Data Model. It has been created and continuously expanded using a set of scripts, available in the OpenCitations GitHub repository, which gather metadata from external services -- including the ORCID Public API -- that describe both the citing and the cited articles involved in a citation. OCC routinely uses the ORCID Public API to try to retrieve ORCID iDs for all authors and editors named in the Crossref metadata for a given DOI. OpenCitations has also recently released BCite (sources available on GitHub), a web application that enables users such as journal editors to obtain 'clean' verified and enriched bibliographic reference text strings, for inclusion in the reference list of the citing article they have in hand. This ensures that accurate rather than erroneous references can be published in the version of record; the references are transformed into RDF data compliant with the OpenCitation Data Model, including ORCID iDs where available. 

Cobaltmetrics

Cobaltmetrics is an altmetrics provider, powered by a knowledge graph that contains billions of identifiers linked by billions of properties. Many different sources are combined to build the graph, mostly in the form of linked metadata shared by publishers, trusted repositories, and identifier registries (see their documentation on URI transmutation). They aim to make privacy and web-scale data mining compatible by using ORCID identifiers as the main contributor identifiers in Cobaltmetrics, and (as of October 2018) have added a total of 4,725,354 identifiers to the knowledge graph using our Public Data File. Cobaltmetrics is now working on contributor-level altmetrics aggregation, with the goal of showcasing what they know about any contributor from all the sources that they monitor. In future, if there’s interest from the community, they will consider a deeper integration with ORCID’s API to pull fresh data into their knowledge graph as often as possible. For more information, please see this Cobaltmetrics blog post.

Science article on migratory scientists

Science magazine journalist, John Bohannon, received the prestigious National Academics communication award for his analysis of scientists’ migration patterns using the ORCID public data file. Among his findings:

  • About one third of scientists who earned their PhD in the UK subsequently moved away, compared with only 15% of scientists in other EU countries
  • The annual influx of scientists to the US stagnated for several years after 2001 - possibly because of the World Trade Center attacks
  • Some researchers are “super-migrators” moving countries frequently for the sake of their career
  • Early career researchers (those who were more recently awarded their PhD) are overrepresented in the ORCID Registry indicating that they’re signing up for an iD faster than older researchers

While John noted the constraints of using ORCID data for this type of analysis, he also believes that: “As ORCID grows into a more comprehensive sample, policymakers will likely use it to track the impact of their efforts to entice research talent. Meanwhile, the data offer a unique glimpse into the migratory lives of the world's knowledge producers.”

Taxonomists on ORCID

You may remember that earlier this year, David Shorthouse wrote about how he’s creating a compendium of taxonomists using a combination of Twitter plus our public API. At the time he had around 1,500 taxonomists on his list; that has now grown to a whopping 5,640 (at time of writing)! For those who don’t already have an iD he’s included a handy link on the home page, to make signing up - or signing in - super easy. As he commented in his original post: “Active campaigns like this engage communities of researchers with the ORCID ecosystem. Its well-constructed public API permits very rapid production of value-added products of benefit to those same communities. There’s potential here for other interesting ways to capitalize on positive feedback-driven network effects.” We agree!

Thanks to all of the above for sharing their use of our public API and data file -- we are proud to be open in name and practice!

  Blog

Diving Right In: ORCID Plans for 2019

Wed, 09 Jan 2019 - 13:26 UTC

It is always wonderful to end the year with a bang.  Just in time for the New Year fireworks, we reached a major milestone: 1000 members!  In addition, about 1000 researchers create an iD every day, and our API is now used about 100m times a month!

Researchers are central to everything we do at ORCID and, over the past few years, we’ve spent time working with key communities -- publishers, research institutions, and funders -- to support them as they implement ORCID in their researcher workflows. In 2019, we’re turning our attention to researchers themselves!

2019 - The Year of the Researcher

In 2019 roadmap, we are focusing the four core strategies from our strategic plan on researchers.  You can follow our progress on our 2019 Roadmap webpage.  

Strategy 1: Researcher. Establish compelling reasons and methods for researchers to use ORCID to share verified information about themselves.  Our Academia & Beyond project will expand our understanding of the needs of researchers in the Arts & Humanities and Life Science/Clinical Medicine communities.  In Improving the User Experience, we are going in deep to ensure the ORCID Registry is broadly accessible and that researchers have a positive and consistent experience when using their iD. Look for us at workshops and other events, where we’ll be carrying out focus groups!

Strategy 2: Infrastructure. Establish ORCID’s role as a trusted and neutral actor in sharing information. We want researchers to have confidence that ORCID services will be there when they are submitting a paper or applying for funding! So, we are starting a multi-year scalability and resiliency project -- Data Infrastructure --  including work to enhance API service levels and ensure continuity of service for the increasing number of systems using ORCID as a login. In parallel, in our Operations project, we are working to improve our back-office services in areas that have a direct impact on the research community, such as member self-service and badging.   

Strategy 3: Trusted assertions. Establish ORCID as a credible hub for asserting and re- using researcher information.  Three of our 2019 projects are focused on helping researchers make the most out of iD-ID connections.  PID Power will extend our assertion assurance work - our goal is to finally explain this in a way that everyone understands (look for our multi-modal presentation at PIDapalooza!) including by demonstrating practicality and utility in the ORCID Registry.  Alongside this work, our Person Citations thought leadership project will explore the notion of “contribution” to include a corpus of a person’s activities. And we will be extending our 2018 project on collecting evidence of impact, to document and Share our Successes and outcomes and identify gaps, starting with this new infographic!

Srategy 4: Strategic relationships. Increase engagement with our global community.  This year we will continue our work on the ORBIT project, with funder demonstration projects and a new working group focused on harmonizing the researcher experience for data exchange in funding application and reporting workflows.  We are also launching RIPEN (Research Information Platform ENgagement), a community pilot, to make ORCID easier to use in a variety of research workflows.  

Calling all researchers!

Interested in helping ORCID meet your needs?  We are looking for working group participants, people to help us set up focus groups, and your feedback!  If you are an arts and humanities researcher or a life sciences/clinical sciences researcher, we invite you to consider participating in our Academia and Beyond project.  If you are interested in brainstorming what it means to cite a person (and how to do it), we invite you to consider participating in our Person Citations project.  And if you are interested in helping to improve our user interface and user experience, please consider participating in our focus groups - and in suggesting venues to engage with your colleagues.  More information on working groups is available on our Community webpage.  To volunteer, please contact community@orcid.org.  To provide feedback, please use our iDeas Forum.

Sustainability

Our plan from the beginning has been persistence through adherence to openness, researcher-centric principles, and fiscal responsibility.  We have been making steady progress toward financial sustainability, with help from grants from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, National Science Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust as we built our services and membership base.  We thank our funders, our members, and everyone who has supported us financially since our launch. 2019 will be our first year without grant support, and we are also projecting it will be our first year of positive cash flow. You’ll hear more when we reach this important milestone.

We thank everyone in our community for your continued support and look forward to working with you this year and into the future!

  Blog

2018 Year in Review

Wed, 19 Dec 2018 - 00:00 UTC

2018 is nearly over and, with your help, we’ve made some significant strides toward achieving ORCID’s vision. We set ourselves some ambitious goals for the year, based on the strategic plan we developed in collaboration with our Board during 2017. Our 2018 project roadmap comprised eight projects that tied in with our strategic themes through a research funding lens:

  1. Researchers. Establish compelling reasons and methods for researchers to use ORCID to share verified information about themselves
  2. Infrastructure. Establishing ORCID’s role as a trusted and neutral actor in sharing (funding) information
  3. Trusted assertions. Establish ORCID as a credible hub for asserting and re-using researcher information
  4. Strategic relationships. Increase engagement with our global community

So, based on the measures of success we set ourselves, how did we do?

 Researchers

We reached a major milestone this year: 5 million registered researchers! Our Share Information project aimed to develop new and enhanced ways for researchers to share funding information when they publish. An important element of this is to increase transparency around the information in an ORCID record, so we did a lot of work on assertion assurance pathways -- ensuring that the provenance of ORCID data is clearly displayed and understood -- and to contribute to a robust research infrastructure based on persistent identifiers. In addition, our new API 3.0, launched in October, features new affiliation types that enable researchers to be recognized for the many different sorts of contributions they make; it also allows the use of research resources, such as national laboratories or special collections, to be connected with ORCID records.

Our Collecting the Evidence project set out to determine whether researchers benefit when using ORCID in research workflows - through reduced data entry or streamlined reporting, for example. We established a methodology for collecting and analyzing community sentiment using social media tools, and we also tracked Twitter engagement. We also developed and fielded surveys to listen to our community. We will be publishing a summary of this work alongside a review of community reports about ORCID in early 2019.

 Infrastructure

Our goal is to provide our community with top-notch reliability. We had 100m hits on our API in October - the highest month ever - and have had 100% uptime throughout the year on both our member and public APIs. We are taking down the site in December to upgrade our servers to ensure we can continue this level of service. As we make the transition out of start-up phase, we undertook an organization-wide restructure to build resiliency and community responsiveness. We also moved to a new help desk ticketing system that allows us to provide language-specific and also continued to update our help and outreach resources.

Our big 2018 infrastructure initiative was the ORBIT (ORCID Reducing Burden and Improving Transparency) project. Our goal was to enable identifier-based researcher → funding connections and ultimately improve data quality, reduce administrative burden, and streamline the reporting process through re-use of open information. To do this, we engaged with funders directly to understand their grant application workflows and information requirements - over 30 funders around the world are now involved in ORBIT. With the help of our Funder Working Group members, we have mapped information typically collected during grant application against the ORCID record schema. We are also working with funders on pathfinder projects to enable data connections in funder systems using identifiers. We’ve made good progress o during this Year in ORBIT, including supporting an open letter that funders are using to indicate their intent to integrate ORCID. There is a lot more to do and we are looking forward to continued activity with the funding community in 2019.

 Trusted assertions

Our measures of success here were the development of policies and processes that enable transparency of information sources and the documentation and promotion of success stories. In addition to the assertion assurance work noted above, one of our key achievements was compliance with the European Union GDPR regulation. Given our core principles of individual control and transparency, we were already largely in alignment, so most of our efforts were focused on fine-tuning our internal processes, as outlined in GDPR, ORCID, and You.

We also made good progress working with service providers and platforms on using the ORCID record as an activity hub for researchers. We kicked off two new community initiatives -- the ORCID in Repositories Task Force (report expected shortly) and the ORCID in Publishing Working Group. We partnered with platforms that have integrated ORCID to demonstrate how we can be better together, making it easier for our members that are using these systems to implement ORCID in accordance with our best practices.

 Strategic relationships

The three projects under this heading can be measured in terms of how they enabled us to build and maintain productive relationships with our partners. Our regional strategies this year focused on defining and developing ORCID communities of practice, working especially closely with our consortia lead organizations globally. We held our first consortia workshop in January, updated our consortium policies and practices (including the launch of consortium self-service portal) and this year welcomed new national consortia in Brazil, the US, Israel and Portugal. We’ve also recently signed agreements with Austria, and Greece and Denmark is relaunching its consortium -- more on these in early 2019!.

We also set out our vision for how we want to work with our community, and in particular our members and consortia, to create a sustainable infrastructure through a mix of technology and engagement. Our recently announced RIPEN (Research Information Platform Engagement) program is intended to reduce technical barriers and broaden our engagement with research organizations we currently under-serve, by scaling up to enable easier ORCID iD authentication for everyone. We are starting this project by developing an internal workflow to better recognize and thank the many friends of ORCID who help support our mission by standing for election to the Board, volunteering for our task forces and working groups, providing translations or open source code, sharing outreach resources, and so much more.

A heartfelt thank you to you all for your continued support!

Blog

Announcing the Results of our 2019 Board Elections

Fri, 07 Dec 2018 - 15:19 UTC

ORCID holds Board member elections every year, following an open recommendation and nominations process. ORCID Board members serve for three years; each year about a third of the Board seats are up for election. The Nominating Committee was chaired this year by Karin Wulf, a researcher member of the ORCID Board. The committee reviewed 25 applications.

The committee must balance a number of objectives when developing the slate. Their overarching aim is to recommend candidates who are driven by the ORCID mission and are able to contribute to ORCID’s development, through their personal and organizational knowledge and networks of influence. Diversity is also an important factor - in terms of skills, geographic location, organizational representation, and gender -- and the committee must also ensure that the Board, as per our bylaws, remains majority non-profit.

The Nominating Committee’s slate of candidates was reviewed by the Board at its September 2018 meeting, announced in this blog post by Karin Wulf, and sent directly to ORCID members via our newsletter and an email to all voting contacts in member organizations.

This year, for the first time, we also held regional Town Hall meetings after the slate was announced for members in the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe, Middle East & Africa, to provide an overview of the process, share information about the slate, and answer questions.

Of the 832 members eligible to vote in the 2019 Board elections, 239 (28.7%) cast votes, above the 10% participation needed for the election to be valid. Of those members casting ballots, 226 (94.6%) voted in favor of the slate, 10 (4.2%) abstained, and three (1.3%) voted against the ballot. The election results were certified at 13:10 GMT on 7 December 2018.

On behalf of the Board and ORCID staff, our thanks to everyone who submitted nominations and participated in the elections process, especially the members of our Nominating Committee. Please join me in welcoming our new and returning Board members:

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Signing the ORCID Funder Open Letter

Thu, 06 Dec 2018 - 03:11 UTC

Co-authored by Christian Gutknecht and Michael Hill, respectively Specialist for Information Systems and Deputy Head of Strategy Support at the Swiss National Science Foundation 

Today, the Swiss National Science Foundation has signed the ORCID Funder Open Letter as part of our commitment to expand the integration of ORCID across funding data management systems (see press release). We believe ORCID can add substantial value to the data infrastructure of funders and hope that more will join this important initiative.

ORCID Integration at the SNSF Today

In 2017, 16,000 researchers were associated with 5800 ongoing Swiss National Science Foundation projects. Managing this amount of personal, academic, and financial data requires substantial infrastructure and resources. At the SNSF, our own in-house software called mySNF, lies at the heart of this infrastructure. mySNF can manage the full administrative life-cycle of a research project, from the submission of CVs and research proposals to the final collection of project output data.

This infrastructure is vital to efficient management of research funding data, and most funders rely on such systems. The systems and their underlying requirements are, however, different for different funders and, as a result, they are rarely directly interoperable. This means that researchers still need to submit separate CVs to individual funders because the requirements or submission formats vary; grants can still be difficult to identify and track online; funders cannot easily and systematically verify or share relevant information; and, accordingly, they cannot track research activity beyond their own infrastructure making longitudinal studies difficult.

Individually, many funders have embraced digitalisation. On a global scale, however, end-to-end data curation and exchange are still lacking due, at least in part, to the heterogeneity of CV and grant data. The SNSF is committed to improving this situation and, by signing the ORCID Open Letter, we encourage other funders to join the effort.

Already today, over 4,000 researchers have entered their ORCID iD in mySNF, which is then also mirrored in the SNSF’s public project output platform P3. mySNF also allows for researchers to import dataset and publication metadata directly from ORCID, and funded projects can in turn be exported to ORCID, albeit indirectly. Following the best practice guidelines for funders, the SNSF is furthermore committed to increasing integration of ORCID in mySNF through three separate initiatives.

Future Initiatives

The first initiative pursues the goal of developing a way for researchers to easily add their SNSF grant information to their ORCID records directly. Crossref’s aim to register DOIs for grants is obviously highly relevant in this regard; accordingly, the SNSF also participates in Crossref’s funder advisory board to define metadata attributes for grants. By providing grant data directly to Crossref and ORCID, researchers’ track records could be auto-populated and funding institutions could simplify the reporting and monitoring of applicants’ overlapping grants across funders.

The second initiative aims at crediting the work of peer reviewers and evaluation panel members by offering the option to easily add these efforts to their ORCID profile. As described by Jason Gush from New Zealand’s Royal Society Te Apārangi, the latest extension to the ORCID metadata model offers the opportunity to implement such a service. The SNSF is hoping to provide its reviewers and evaluators with this service, not only as an incentive but also as honest acknowledgement for their valuable work.

The third initiative was inspired by the ORCID Reducing Burden and Improving Transparency (ORBIT) project, where a group of funders investigated various ways of facilitating and increasing the integration of ORCID in their data management infrastructure. At the SNSF today, researchers still upload their CV in the form of a PDF formatted according to our specification. Based on the work initiated in ORBIT, we are now investigating how much CV data might be imported directly from ORCID into mySNF in the future and how such an import could best be implemented.

CV Data Alignment and Evaluation

All these efforts aim at improving the standardisation, reliability, and value of data and at facilitating its management. The actual data itself and what we do with it, however, is — at least to some extent — a separate matter. In an independent project, in close collaboration with ORCID and other stakeholders, we are therefore also investigating what actually constitutes valuable data in a CV. What do we as funders really need to know about the track record of applicants, and how can we best use this information to ensure fair evaluation procedures? If we can find some answers to these basic questions, then we might also have a chance at developing some common standards or guidelines for CVs and their evaluation.

More widespread ORCID integration on the one side, and more closely aligned CV requirements on the other, have the potential to truly transform how we think about and manage track record data in funding institutions. At the same time, global, end-to-end interoperability of CV and grant data would also allow for new ways of sharing and interacting with such data, providing valuable research opportunities and insights. The SNSF is proud to be a co-signatory of the ORCID Open Letter, which promotes these goals, and we encourage all funders to join this initiative.

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Scaling Up: Easier ORCID iD Authentication for Everyone

Tue, 04 Dec 2018 - 18:34 UTC

At its core, ORCID enables researchers to make connections between themselves (via their ORCID iD) and their activities and affiliations (via other identifiers and APIs).  These connections are asserted either by the researcher or, with their permission, by ORCID members.

Ensuring that researchers have control over their iD and the information connected to it is one of our core principles. To fully wield that control, researchers must be able to understand both what information has been asserted and who has made the assertion. Making this information transparent also helps build trust in iD-ID connections.

Assertion Anatomy

While assertions might seem straightforward, things can get complicated quickly. We care about three relationships in an assertion:  

  • Item origin - whoever published the activity or is the affiliated party  
  • Assertion origin - whoever collects the ORCID iD and makes the connection to an item
  • Source - whoever adds the information to the researcher’s ORCID record  

The “who” in these sources may be the same or different.  For example, a researcher can manually add something to their record, they can use a Search and Link Wizard, or they can give permission to a member to update their record.  At present, there’s no way of telling which of these three pathways were used to connect information to an ORCID record.

We think it is important to change that.  Doing so will both make it possible for researchers to request updates to incorrect information (such as a name misspelling), and for the consumers (such as universities, funders, publishers, and researchers) to make informed decisions about what information to re-use.

Engaging our Community

To explore methods for articulating assertions, we are launching Research Information Platform Engagement (RIPEN). The RIPEN program will allow us to test a technological approach to clarifying  the provenance of information on ORCID records, using JSON Web tokens (JWTs) to reduce the technical burden of integrating authenticated ORCID iDs into workflows. RIPEN brings together a number of projects and themes we have been working on since our launch, including researcher control, authentication, and auto-updates.

Our overarching goals for the RIPEN program are to:

  • Test our implementation. Ensure that our technology and messaging are easily understandable and meet community requirements
  • Improve data quality and trust. A primary goal is to improve trust in iD-ID connections, by ensuring adherence to ORCID best practices for authentication and assertion assurance
  • Broaden reach. Expand the community that can interact with ORCID technology by reducing technical development cost and barriers to implementation
Step-wise Approach

We will be rolling out the RIPEN program in three stages.  In the spirit of eating our own dog food, the first partner implementer is ... ORCID!  We will be testing out JWTs (pronounced “jots”) in our own systems, using them to collect authenticated iDs from staff, board and working group members, to delegate user permissions between our app for collecting iDs and our SalesForce CRM system, and to update ORCID records with affiliation assertions into ORCID records.  Another key part of the program is to collect data on the time and cost of implementing this technology compared with using our current three-legged OAuth methodology.  

We are starting our work now, and expect to share more about our progress around March 2019.  We are in the process of recruiting partners for Stage 2, which we anticipate launching early in 2019.   We will decide whether to move on to Stage 3 after evaluating the program in discussion with our Board, tentatively at their October 2019 meeting.

Stay tuned for more!

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Announcing our New Technology Team Structure

Mon, 03 Dec 2018 - 15:28 UTC

ORCID has gone through a huge staffing transformation this year, with new people, new roles, new teams, and promotions.. Our most recent change is the departure of Rob Peters as our Technology Director.  I am very thankful to Rob for his leadership and support during our start-up phase.  I will miss him, his uncompromising style, and zaniness -- including a sock puppet extravaganza at our recent all-hands staff meeting.  

I mean, where do you go from there!?

Fortunately, ORCID enjoys change.  It is in our blood. We are prepared for it. Here is our new technology leadership team:

Will Simpson, Technology Director.  Formerly second-in-command on our technology team, Will has been with ORCID longer than any other staffer, joining us as a member of the pre-launch consulting team in 2011.  He has been a key steward of the ORCID technology stack for seven years, and in his new role will be taking on responsibility for our technology strategy and the scalability of our technical infrastructure.

 

Liz Krznarich, Technology Lead.  Liz is continuing her role as a front-end developer, as well as taking on new responsibilities leading our software development process, managing tech team goals and initiatives, and ensuring high-performance operations of the ORCID Registry and other key systems. Liz runs marathons in sub-zero weather, so is well-practiced for her new role.

 

Tom Demeranville, Product Director. This position expands Tom’s previous role as Technology Advocate. He is now in charge of working with the entire ORCID team - and our community - to establish and develop our product roadmap.  He will ensure that our technology is responsive to our community and aligned with our mission. His work on ORBIT, and the European Commission funded ODIN, THOR, and FREYA projects demonstrate his fit for this role.  

Please join me in congratulating Will, Liz, and Tom -- I look forward to working with them as we continue to drive the ORCID mission forward.  It is long, hard work - and with them it will also be a lot of fun.

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A Year in ORBIT

Wed, 28 Nov 2018 - 19:50 UTC

Co-authored by Josh Brown and Tom Demeranville (both ORCID)

Last year, we announced the launch of the ORCID Reducing Burden and Improving Trust (ORBIT) project. Since then, we have been working hard, supported by our fantastic Funder Working Group (FWG), to deliver on the core project goals for 2018: to automate information flows into grant applications - saving researchers time, reducing duplicated effort and improving data quality; and to explore the ways that persistent identifiers can help to increase the openness and reusability of research information.

The FWG has a remit to oversee the ORBIT project work, and to advise ORCID on issues that are important to the funding community. Eighteen funding organisations from around the world are participating in the FWG, with representation from funders in Africa, Asia/Australasia, Europe, North and South America.  Since some of these funders support research in Antarctica, it’s fair to say we have research in every continent on planet Earth represented in the group! The funders are a mix of discipline-focused (e.g., the US National Institutes of Health and Wellcome Trust both focus on life sciences research) and multidisciplinary funders (like the Swiss National Science Foundation, or the Australian Research Council).

One of the first tasks the group completed was comparing the information typically required to submit a grant application.  We found that, while grant application requirements vary between funders, there is a common information ‘core’ that is collected across them that is also very well served by the existing ORCID record schema.

The FWG also examined the information funders collect from individuals tasked with reviewing grant applications.  We found more variations in the practice of grant review than grant application, from minimal information (name, address and organisation) to a full curriculum vitae, and again a good mapping with the existing ORCID record schema.

To understand whether ORCID record data could be re-used in funding applications, we analysed the 2017 ORCID public data file using the core application fields determined in the FWG analysis (above).  The results are published in a report describing the information connected to ORCID records, mechanisms of connection (always with the researcher in control!), and its provenance.  This report is already proving useful for organisations seeking to re-use ORCID data.

In June 2018, ORBIT project partners met face to face in Edinburgh at the International Network of Research Management Societies (INORMS) conference. We held a ‘kick off’ meeting for the ORBIT pathfinder projects, and presented the ORBIT project  to an audience of INORMS delegates at our ORBIT Community Forum. It was a packed afternoon, with contributions from NIH, SNF and Crossref, as well as discussions and a panel session. INORMS provided a welcoming opportunity to discuss the ORBIT project with the wider research community. Our thanks to our colleagues at the UK Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA) for their generous support!

The ORBIT pathfinder projects are forging ahead with their plans to integrate ORCID into grants workflows.  ORBIT supports them through its Technical Advisory Group (TAG), a venue for the exchange of ideas, requirements, and plans between the funder members and the vendors that serve them (Terms of Reference).  Since the TAG was set up, two major grant application and management platforms -- CCT and Altum -- have both started to integrate ORCID and are now offering ORCID integration as a feature to their customers.  Both vendors are focussing on reducing the researcher effort required to providing high-quality information in the grant application process. Funders in the pathfinder group that are developing bespoke solutions are learning from these vendors’ experiences. One such funder, the Australian Research Council, are currently testing their integration, which enables applicants to use their ORCID record to add relevant publications to their applications. ARC expect 15,000 researchers to have benefitted from the integration by the end of 2018.

What’s next in ORBIT?

We have another full year of activities ahead of us!. We’ll be analysing the work of the pathfinder projects to quantify the time savings and other benefits of using ORCID. We’ll also be launching a new project sub-group to explore ways that funders could make their information demands more consistent, easier to automate, and more interoperable (more information about this group soon).  We are starting to explore how the new version of our API can support even more of the information that researchers need to provide to funders.  And, we will be working to extend the information available to funders about identifiers, and continuing to work with the community to adopt of FAIR principles for identifiers and the metadata linked to them.

Open and transparently-sourced research information is at the heart of ORCID.  In ORBIT, our goal is to engage the funding community to make it easy for researchers to share their information now and into the future.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

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Fast Iterations, Cowboys, and How to Scale 39,185% in Six Years!

Tue, 27 Nov 2018 - 20:52 UTC

Imagine something growing by 39,185%. That’s a farmer planting two tomatoes and harvesting 783,600. Or, a 0.2 lb baby panda growing up to weigh 3.9 tons, bigger than the average Asian elephant. It’s the kind of “hockey stick” user growth that people drool over in the startup world. ORCID has achieved it in just six years.

Joining ORCID in 2012 as tech lead was initially a leap for me. I had worked helping to grow five startups, but never anything in the nonprofit or academic space.  Six years later, upon my exit December 1st I wanted to reflect back on my experiences..

I was originally hired on as Lead Developer to help stabilize, scale, and speed up the software lifecycle of ORCID’s legacy-forked Java codebase. I joined shortly after the Registry was launched, at which time we had 10 servers and a team of three software consultants, serving a rapidly growing base of over 14K user researchers.  I remember my fish-out-of-water feeling the first time I presented on ORCID to a room full of multi-PhD’d academics at CERN, armed with my community college associates degree in mathematics and unfinished bachelor's degree. But we all shared a vision, and that brought us together to do incredible things.

Even though the domain of open research infrastructure was totally new to me, managing the day-to-day software release cycle and contributing to the code base are in my wheelhouse. We built a team that combined the best of  open, commercial, and startup cultures and we were able to quickly get fixes in place and start on a path of rapid scaling. My “cowboy” approach from working in fast-moving California startups turned out to be a good match for ORCID’s mission-focus nonprofit structure and international scale. Two big pain points in those early days were server stability and pushing the code base to an open source repository, in alignment with ORCID principles.  By the end of 2012, 2.5 months after our launch (!),we had grown to over 50,000 users and 25 member organizations.  By the end of 2013, we neared 500K users, from every country.

There were hurdles at the start, certainly. For the first two months I couldn’t build the codebase or access the server build scripts. Why? Because parts of our codebase were locked behind a software consulting company’s firewall. This meant having to push live changes I couldn’t test and modifying servers by hand (both terrible practices but with the advantage of making you understand exactly what you are doing!). Not having 100% access to all part of the codebase impressed on me just how important open source and sharing can be.

Today, ORCID has over 5.5 million users around the world, and we are nearing 1,000 members. My role grew too. I transitioned from Lead Developer to Technical Director in January 2016, and during my time here, I have led a tech team of nine spread across three continents and traveled to over 40 cities. I never did get my idea approved for a team meeting in Antarctica (it has the highest density of researchers in the world, perfect for ORCID!) Along the way, a couple of key lessons stand out when thinking about what makes the ORCID story so special:

  1. Community. At the first Board meeting I attended, ORCID had just four employees and 14 board members! How bizarre it seemed to have a ratio of three board members for every employee - something you’d never see in a Silicon Valley startup. While those numbers evened out as we grew, the Board has continued to be a lodestar. Over the years, I came to realize how much the ORCID community cares and also how much the ORCID community deserves credit. Any sacrifices I made as an early employee were returned by the community three-fold. You are truly amazing!   
  2. Embrace change. At launch, ORCID was following enterprise software processes and culture rules designed for large publishers. While those practices have merit, as a tiny startup, we needed to be unafraid to buck perceived best-practices and instead find the right practices for us. One example from the early days was our external software consultants insisting we go through load testing for every release. Of course, pushed to the servers, the reality didn’t match the test results. ORCID was spending a lot of time and money on something that kept proving ineffective. From a previous job at Fortune 500 company, I knew load testing usually was fraught with false assumptions. So instead, we created a culture of coders reading and understanding their code changes. ORCID was willing to engage new, more appropriate solutions every step of the way.
  3. Iterate fast, taking small steps toward huge goals. Pushing small changes as quickly as feasible to production has been a big part of our ability to scale. Even though the end goals were HUGE, breaking the steps down helped us get there. Small steps mean small risk. A great example is from my very first day. I knew the API first build had a critical flaw that is best described as monolithic. Mostly, this was tied to modeling the API about researchers after other APIs built for books. Researchers are far more complex than books! The team had to tackle it with small steps -- 27 iterations and hundreds of code commits to get to API v. 2.0 -- until we eventually had the API we needed to allow ORCID to continue to scale.

When I started there were eight production machines. Over the last six years we’ve had to double those numbers to increase the size/power of the servers to handle periods of rapid exponential growth. Currently, ORCID sees the most growth with the use of our APIs -- about 3,456,000 requests  a day and growing. Staying ahead of growth is ongoing work. I’m really proud to have been a part of the ORCID story, especially the early rough-and-tumble days. As I set out on my next ventures I hope ORCID finds new challenges and even bigger successes.

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Better Together: Working with our Third Party Provider Partners

Mon, 26 Nov 2018 - 00:00 UTC

ORCID’s success relies on you, our community, building connections between your systems and the ORCID Registry to enable transparent and responsible information sharing.  We work with organizations across every sector in research and innovation, building relationships within and between them. Our work is not without its challenges, but we have outstanding partners all around the world who are building the integrations that will help achieve our common vision of an open and trusted research information infrastructure.

One of our strategic goals for 2018 is to strengthen our relationships with third party providers whose integrations are enabling our members to quickly and easily implement ORCID. This has inspired our “Better Together” webinar series, which highlights these relationships and collaborative success stories.

Digital Measures. Earlier this year, we worked with the team at Digital Measures by Watermark, a faculty research tracking platform, to launch their ORCID integration.  The launch webinar included a live demonstration of how ORCID can enhance the data that institutions gather about their researchers while simultaneously saving those researchers time in their reporting.  It was one of our best attended webinars this year. Nearly 20 universities have already begun using the Digital Measures ORCID integration. View the recorded event here.

Digital Science has integrated ORCID in several of their platforms and services, including Symplectic Elements, Dimensions, Overleaf, Figshare, and Altmetric.  Members of the ORCID and Digital Science teams provided an overview of these integrations and their functions for researchers and institutions in two webinars on November 13 and 14, 2018.  We also heard about a use case of these tools as used collectively by a group of research institutions. Tim Cain is director of the Ohio Information Exchange  (OIEx),  a portal that connects Ohio stakeholders to faculty and research from six Ohio universities, using the Dimensions and Elements platforms and enhanced by ORCID iDs.  View the recorded event here.

Interfolio, the creators of the Faculty Information System, have recently updated their ORCID integration to enable researchers to pull their research activity information into their faculty profile. This saves researchers time and reduces the risk of errors and duplication when updating their activity data on file at their institution.  Interfolio strives to provide a holistic view of faculty achievements and activity, and ORCID integration further empowers faculty to develop their academic story continuously across their career.

Join Interfolio and ORCID staff on Thursday, December 13 for a demonstration of these features and to hear about institutions that are using them. Register for the event here.

Information about more third party systems that have integrated ORCID can be found on our integration resources web pages.  If you are interested in collaborating or participating in a “Better Together” event, please contact us -- and be sure to join the upcoming webinars!  

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Thank You!

Mon, 19 Nov 2018 - 21:53 UTC

ORCID Registry Scheduled Outage, December 15, 2018

Sun, 18 Nov 2018 - 23:44 UTC

On Saturday, December 15, 2018 we will be migrating our database to new hardware. During this transition we estimate that the ORCID Registry, including the Public and Member API and the ORCID Registry user interface, will be unavailable from 2pm UTC for up to eight hours.  

This scheduled outage will enable ORCID to upgrade our relational database management system, Postgres 9, to Postgres 10. Besides keeping ORCID’s software stack current, the upgrade will also enable us to move from binary replication to logical replication, which means we will be able to significantly reduce and possibly eliminate outages for future upgrades.    

We recognize that this will cause some inconvenience for organizations that have integrated ORCID and for users. We appreciate your understanding, and we will do our best to keep the downtime to a minimum.

If you haven’t already done so, we strongly recommend that you join the ORCID API Users Group, where we will be posting further updates before, during, and after the outage and/or that you follow us on Twitter (@ORCID_Org).  Please do let us know if you have any questions.

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Learning Patience: Taking a Step Back on Affiliation Assertion Requirements

Tue, 06 Nov 2018 - 03:20 UTC

ORCID is committed to enabling traceable connections between researchers and their activities and affiliations.  This includes using identifiers for things (such as DOIs) and places (such as organization identifiers), as well as people. In many cases, however, identifiers are not yet widely used. In some cases, there is not yet an understanding that identifiers are needed.

When we first launched affiliation functionality in 2013 (see Organizational Affiliations Now Part of ORCID Record), our focus was on organization identifiers.  These made it possible for us to create an organization pick list for researchers to choose from when adding employment and education affiliation information to their ORCID record.  Since then, researchers have used this pick list to make over 5m such assertions, and increasingly their institutions are using the ORCID API to add affiliation information for their own researchers – to date, researchers have given permissions for over 100K such assertions.

However, what about researchers who have more than one affiliation at the same institution, over time or at the same time?  In this case, simply connecting a person’s ORCID ID with an organization ID is not enough. And even with additional role metadata, there is no clear way to resolve the affiliation: to find a web page or other independent digital information for that affiliation.  Some institutions have faculty and staff profile pages, but by and large these pages are removed when a faculty member moves to a new organization. And let’s not even ask about students, who most often don’t have any online representation hosted by their institution.

As part of our push toward trusted assertions (see Assertion Assurance Pathways: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?), we decided that our new API release candidate (3.0) should require affiliation assertions added to an ORCID record by any source to include either a persistent identifier – which we knew was a stretch – or, what we thought was achievable now, an affiliation start date.  Verifying that someone has ever worked at institution X is significantly harder than verifying that they worked at X during a particular time period.

However, thanks to your feedback on our new API release candidate, we now know that, for many in our community, this bar is currently too high. So, by popular request, we are temporarily rolling back the start date/identifier requirement for affiliations in API 3.0. We will be taking time over the next 6-9 months to work with the community to gain a better understanding of your workflows and information sources and to engage with partners to test approaches.  If you are interested in working with us on this project, please contact me.

In the meantime, we will be:

  1. Displaying “date created” for items on the ORCID record and in the API
  2. Requiring organization IDs for the asserting organization and the affiliation itself
  3. Ensuring that only those organizations that have a direct relationship with the affiliation may post it to the ORCID record.  This means that Institution X may ONLY post affiliations pertaining to their institution. We will be managing this using organization IDs for the asserting organization and the affiliation being posted
  4. Encouraging (but not requiring) the use of start dates in affiliation assertions
  5. Encouraging pilot integrations that test use of identifiers for the affiliation
  6. Encouraging inclusion of a local webpage URL (such as a faculty or staff profile) in the affiliation assertion, preferably in an archived format (see e.g., https://www.webcitation.org)

Our Engagement team will be responsible for working with members to ensure these guidelines are communicated, and also adhered to in our Collect & Connect badging processes.

We look forward to working with our community to improve transparency and trust in affiliation assertions. Please contact us if you have questions or suggestions.

Related ORCID posts

1ORCID API Versioning

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Research resources now live -- join the pilot!

Fri, 02 Nov 2018 - 11:05 UTC

Earlier this year we announced a new data model to acknowledge research resource use on ORCID records. Now with the launch of the first release candidate of our API 3.0, we introduce a new section to the ORCID record: research resources.

Research resources are specialist resources used for research purposes, and can include anything from research facilities housing specialized equipment (laboratories, observatories, ships, etc.) to digital repositories; and from museums and galleries to field stations that house physical collections. Identifying which resources were used to create research findings improves research rigor and reporting, and increases transparency.

Like peer review activity, resource use can only be added to an ORCID record by a trusted organization (ORCID member organization), following collection of a researcher’s ORCID iD in a formal resource proposal or request process. And like the peer review section, the research resource section will not appear in an ORCID record until a resource connection has been made and added. Organizations that provide resources are invited to join our pilot project to integrate ORCID iDs and other persistent identifiers into resource proposal and award processes. Find out how below.

Recognizing resource use on ORCID records

Connecting information to your ORCID record starts with verifying your ORCID iD. In most cases, a resource provider requests that you verify your ORCID iD by signing into ORCID and granting them permission to update your ORCID record with information about your use of their resource. This typically occurs when you submit a request to use a resource or grant access credentials to a resource.

The resource provider uses this permission to connect information about your resource use to your ORCID record. Publicly recognizing the use of research resources in this way benefits you, the organizations you interact with that collect information from your ORCID record, and the resource provider themselves. Each resource item includes persistent identifiers: the organization ID for the resource host and the grant or project ID of the resource, which enable transparency and traceability. The resource provider (the trusted organization) is always listed as the source of the information.


Above is an example resource use recognition from Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a member of the resource pilot group.

Organizations: Join the research resource pilots

Our User Facilities and Publications Working Group defined two pilot projects: one for resource hosts to adopt ORCID iDs and other persistent identifiers into their resource proposal and award processes; and one for publishers to integrate award and resource identifiers into the publishing process. Connecting resources to ORCID records is a key part of the first pilot project.

We invite members of the ORCID community to test the research resources workflow as a part of our pilot group. Let us know your interest by completing our online form and our team will follow up.

We also invite the community to participate in the pilot project to integrate award and resource identifiers into the publishing process, so resource use can be recognized. Not certain which project is right for your organization? Get in touch with the ORCID Engagement Team to learn more.

For more information, please see:

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