24 Apr 2014

ORCID IDs: Supporting ORCID at UCD (Part 2 of 2)

Guest Post by Michael Ladisch, Bibliographic Services Librarian, UCD Library

Part 1, ORCID: Connecting Research and Researchers is available here.

When I first heard about ORCID I realised the potential benefits and thought I should support the cause. ORCID had started an “ambassador program”, an activity that encourages interested people to promote ORCID on behalf of the organisation. I contacted ORCID and quickly became an “Ambassador” at UCD. ORCID provides PowerPoint slides for presentations, poster templates and even some promotional material such as flyers and bookmarks etc. They are also very helpful when questions arise and very happy to hear any feedback or input. ORCID also facilitates the exchange of ideas between ambassadors through a Basecamp community. At the moment there are only two ORCID ambassadors based in Ireland, myself and John Howard, our Head Librarian (John promotes ORCID on a national level). It would be great if colleagues in other institutions would join the ambassador team as a result of my recent LIR presentation or this blog post .

Wearing my ambassador hat I started promoting ORCID at UCD. One of the first steps was to let my fellow librarians at UCD Library know about the identifier (you may have noticed that I excluded UCD Library staff from the poll at the beginning of my LIR presentation). Literally every presentation I give to researchers or research administration staff in our Schools and Institutes has a few ORCID slides included, and sometime I give talks exclusively about ORCID. Whenever there is an opportunity, I try to highlight the identifier, be it in a School meeting or in a conversation with an individual researcher or research administrator. Constant dripping wears the stone. And this constant dripping is needed because researchers are very short on time (who isn’t these days?) and quite reluctant to sign up for something they might not see an immediate effect from right away. Furthermore, most researchers are already active on platforms like Academia.edu or ResearchGate and view ORCID as just another such service. Sometimes a bit of convincing is required.

Together with our Outreach team we ran a promotional campaign in March. We used all channels at our disposal to raise awareness of ORCID within the UCD researcher community: targeted emails, social media, flyers, posters, messages on the library website, plasma screens – you name it. I even created a new ORCID LibGuide for our users. The results, unfortunately, were not overwhelming. We doubled the number of ORCID IDs at UCD, but about 500 researchers out of about 1,500 (not counting PhDs and Research Masters) – that leaves room for improvement. The number of ORCID ID holders at UCD could be higher however, because registration does not specifically require an institutional email address, and for privacy reasons only the email extension can be used to count affiliations.

As mentioned before, other universities have embedded ORCID into their identifier systems. By becoming an ORCID member an institution can create ORCID IDs for all their researchers at once. UCD doesn’t have any specific plans to do so at the moment, but our Research Office is “observing” the spread of ORCID and our University IT Services are looking at the technical side. Obviously, embedding an ORCID ID could have benefits for institutions as well, e.g. publication or funding records can be pulled into the Research Management System or the Repository, reducing duplication and re-entry of data.

Whilst more and more researchers are now registering with ORCID, I assume the real breakthrough will come when they are encouraged (or even forced) to provide ORCID IDs as part of the funding application or manuscript submission process. As mentioned before, this is already the case with some funders and publishers, but it doesn’t cover all disciplines or countries yet. One of the major funders in Ireland is currently working on ORCID implementation. Once they are on board it will be easier to convince researchers.

If my post made you a bit curious and you want to know more about ORCID let me know. I’m happy to provide more information. Or contact the folks at ORCID.org directly (@ORCID_Org on Twitter). Or just keep your eyes open – ORCID will certainly cross your path someday.

My ORCID presentation from the LIR seminar can be found on Slideshare, but if you search for “ORCID” you will find many more presentations with further information.

Michael Ladisch
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MichaelUCDLib
ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0124-5582

*Image copyright Melanie Simpson

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