Invited positions and distinctions workflows

These workflows set out a process by which an ORCID member (e.g. a research institution) can collect authenticated ORCID iDs from your researchers or the people you work with, retrieve data from their ORCID records, add their affiliation with your organization to their ORCID records, and update records which you have previously added.

These workflows are applicable to any organization interested in acknowledging formal relationships outside of employment between an individual and their organization, or enabling recognition for an award, honorary degree, or other distinction that you have conferred on someone.

What information do invited positions and distinctions assertions contain?
Workflow 1: Collecting iDs within your systems
Workflow 2: Collecting iDs retrospectively
Affiliation dates


Our API v.3  expands the set of affiliation activities that can be expressed within an ORCID record. In addition to employment and education affiliations, ORCID users and members can also add invited positions and distinctions to ORCID records (see below), as well as qualifications, and membership and service activities.  

For example, member organizations can now acknowledge formal relationships -- outside of employment -- between an individual and your organization, and enable recognition for an award,  honorary degree, or other distinction that you have conferred on someone.

This is great news for honorary fellows, guest researchers, visiting lecturers, and others, who would like to be able to more easily share information about their work and expertise -- and to be more widely recognized for it.  And it’s good for your organization, because it enables you to both give your researchers credit for their achievements and to ensure that information about their affiliation with you is correct and transparent.

These new forms of affiliation appear on an ORCID record like this:

What information do invited positions and distinctions assertions contain?

The Invited positions and distinctions section of an ORCID record can be used to recognize people in many roles. 

All affiliation sections use the same set of metadata (*indicates a required field):

  • Organization name*
  • Organization city*
  • Organization region
  • Organization country*
  • Organization ID (Ringgold, GRID or LEI)*
  • Role/Title
  • Department (e.g. working group name)
  • URL (e.g. working group webpage)
  • Start date
  • End date
  • An external persistent identifier describing the affiliation 


There are two generalized workflows for adding affiliation assertions: by collecting ORCID iDs within your systems at registration or within the users profile pages; or by emailing existing users and asking them to connect their iD to your system.  Both have three components: authenticate, connect, and display.

Workflow 1: Collecting iDs within your systems

In this scenario, ORCID iDs are a requirement of the position/distinction, for example, when joining an organization or accepting an award. When registering their details via a web form, registrants are asked to authenticate their ORCID iD and grant your organization permission to interact with their record. Once their registration is approved, your system updates the appropriate section of the individual’s ORCID record with details of their position or distinction, connecting them with your organization. Their ORCID iD should be displayed alongside any publicly available information about them.

Workflow 2: Collecting iDs retrospectively

If your system already contains information about your researchers and their past activities, or if there is no registration component, you can instead email individuals a unique link they can use to connect themselves with your system. When clicked, this link directs the individual to ORCID to authenticate their iD and grant your organization permission to update their record. It then redirects them to a specially created web page you provide. Your system stores the link between the ORCID iD and email address/user account, and uses the permissions the individual has granted to update the appropriate section of their ORCID record, connecting them and their activity with your organization. Again, if the organization provides public information about the people they work with, then the ORCID iD should be displayed alongside the user record on your system.

Affiliation dates for invited positions

Affiliation assertions contain start dates and end dates, and we strongly encourage you to populate these fields where possible, as this makes verification of the researcher's affiliation with your organization easier. The workflows above enable long-term update permissions, which can be used to update the end date when an individual’s affiliation ends.  Your system should use the ORCID API to add an end date (where applicable), in order to make the full term of the affiliation clear.



It is critical that you collect ORCID iDs and obtain permission to read and update ORCID records, by first prompting users to sign into ORCID from within your system, and then retrieving their data from the ORCID Registry using the ORCID API. It is also essential to provide information within your system about why you are collecting ORCID iDs and why this is beneficial to your users.

You must provide a hyperlinked ORCID-branded button for collecting authenticated ORCID iDs: This can be at sign-in, within the researcher’s personal profile, or in a customized email to a researcher. Using an ORCID-branded button consistently helps ensure that researchers associate it with being asked to securely provide their iD, which in turn builds trust in ORCID as a reliable identifier.

Technical documentation


You can help your researchers get credit for their invited positions and distinctions by connecting validated information about their affiliation with you to their ORCID records. At the same time, you will be helping to build trust in scholarly communications. By asserting the connection between individuals and your organization -- connections that only your organization can make authoritatively -- you ensure that your organization is appropriately acknowledged when your employees and affiliates make professional contributions. That information can then be shared, with the researcher's permission, with the other systems they interact with, helping to create a trustworthy research information infrastructure.

Adding information to ORCID records involves sending formatted data to the ORCID Registry using the ORCID API, and saving the put code that the ORCID Registry returns for each item. Doing this requires that you have collected both ORCID iDs and update permission as described in Authenticate above.

Technical documentation


Displaying ORCID iDs clearly signals to your users that your system supports ORCID. It requires you to have collected validated ORCID iDs from researchers as described above in Authenticate. To complete the Display process:

Once a researcher has connected their ORCID iD to your system, publicly display their iD on their profile within your system so that they know that they have successfully connected and asserted their iD. Format the iD as a hyperlinked URI and include the green iD icon, per our iD Display Guidelines. Also include the authenticated iD in any metadata sent to third-party services when applicable.