The Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) initiative, a not-for-profit, member-fee sustained organisation, was launched in 2012. Its mission is to ‘provide open tools that enable transparent and trustworthy connections between researchers, their contributions, and affiliations’. By providing researchers with a unique digital identifier, ORCID allows researchers to be easily distinguished from each other and enables automated linkages between them and their professional activities. This is particularly valuable given that most surnames are not unique, meaning that an individual’s contribution to research can be difficult to ascertain; for example, a search for the name ‘Wang’ in PubMed reveals over half a million records.
Wiley is a founding member of ORCID and recently announced that it is making ORCID identification mandatory in the submission process for its journals. Wiley joins several other publishers, including PLOS, EMBO press and Faculty of 1000, that have signed an open letter during 2016, establishing their commitment to obtain the ORCID iD for corresponding authors of published papers. Authors submitting to the Wiley family of biomedical journals who do not have an ORCID identifier, will be given the opportunity to create one during the submission process.
In a recent survey carried out by ORCID of ~6000 people, more than 70% said they would welcome compulsory use of the ORCID identification system in publishing workflows. ORCID recognise that publishers are in a unique position to facilitate widespread adoption of ORCID and have issued an implementation standard for publishers wishing enforce mandatory use of ORCID during submission. It is hoped that these guidelines will ensure that the collection of ORCID numbers is efficient, adheres to best practices, and reduces the burden on researchers.