In this blog series we interview members of various ORCID consortia around the world to see how they are using and benefitting from the Affiliation Manager tool. This tool is available only to ORCID consortia members and has a number of different use cases that we will be highlighting in this series. If you have a case study that you would like us to feature in this series, please reach out to Paloma Marín-Arraiza, our Manager for Global Consortia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vinnytsia National Agrarian University (VNAU), located in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, is a prominent educational institution dedicated to agricultural studies and research. The university has evolved into a leading center for agricultural education and innovation in the country. Offering a wide range of programs, Vinnytsia National Agrarian University prepares students for careers in various agricultural disciplines, contributing to the development and advancement of Ukraine’s agricultural sector.
VNAU has been an ORCID member since October 2022, serving as the Ukrainian consortium lead for the State Scientific and Technical Library of Ukraine (SSTL of Ukraine). The consortium has facilitated the translation of several materials, including the Affiliation Manager Guide, into Ukrainian. This has played an instrumental role in promoting the adoption and integration of ORCID within the Ukrainian academic community.
To document the case study of the Affiliation Manager at VNAU, we interviewed Inna Viktorivna Honcharuk, Vice-Rector for Scientific, Pedagogical, Scientific and Innovative Activities of VNAU.
Can you describe the type of affiliations you’re adding to the ORCID Registry using the Affiliation Manager?
First, we filled out a short application to obtain access to the ORCID Affiliation Manager and received an API key, which allows integration with ORCID. Using the template provided by the SSTL of Ukraine, we collected data on scientific and pedagogical staff and graduate students of VNAU and grouped them into an Excel file. We then converted this file into a CSV format and uploaded it to the Member Portal.
Why did you decide to use the Affiliation Manager? What is your use case?
We chose the Affiliation Manager because it allows us to organize and identify researchers and their scientific activities in order to attach metadata to ORCID. This increases the visibility of Ukrainian researchers and their scientific contributions, particularly scientists from Vinnytsia National Agrarian University, on a global level. It also improves the positioning of Ukrainian research institutions in using accepted research data management practices to create opportunities and shape future directions of global research and innovation systems.
What was the data collection process? How did you coordinate it internally? What is your data source?
In 2018, my office initiated the creation of ORCID profiles for all scientists and young researchers at VNAU affiliated with the respective unit, as well as profiles in other scientometric databases. This step helped with ORCID integration activities.
We first developed guidelines with an algorithm of actions and a visual example on my own ORCID record, indicating which data needed to be updated and to which email address the data for the profile should be sent.
Next we held training sessions for the relevant units (Research Department, Department of Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies, Personnel Department, Scientific Library) on what data needed to be provided. For example, the Personnel Department provides data on the employment of each academic staff member (date of enrollment, position, etc.), and the Department of Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies provides data regarding postgraduates and their affiliations. The Scientific Library of the University provided consultations on restoring profile data. After all consultations, scientists edited their profile data and provided screenshot confirmations of their profiles, which were sent to the relevant unit to which they were affiliated. Deputy Deans for Scientific Work checked this data and grouped it into one file for each unit, and then these files were sent to the Scientific Library of the University, where they were grouped into one file for the university.
Did you face any challenges when using the tool? How did you overcome them?
When using the tool, there were some difficulties. For example, there were typographical errors in email addresses, which required careful checking and slowed down the process of uploading the CSV file to the portal. Everything had to be checked to avoid the system giving an error. The portal has a “Add affiliation” function (manual addition of participants), which significantly simplified the work of uploading the CSV file, so we used this function to integrate the Affiliation Manager with the scientists at VNAU. This was more efficient and reliable.
What worked when communicating with researchers? What insights did you gain or lessons did you learn?
We were helped by a clear algorithm of actions and coordination of work. First, we carefully studied the Affiliation Manager instructions sent as an Excel file sample by the SSTL of Ukraine coordinators, then we developed our own methodological recommendations with examples, conducted training sessions for relevant departments, communicated with scientists, and reported any inaccuracies we found in their profile and what needed to be corrected. We needed to be patient and open to everyone’s needs, providing assistance and answering all their questions. We always made sure to see the task through to completion and not be afraid of anything new and complex.
How do you plan to keep using the tool? Are you planning regular updates?
We plan to make regular updates; add new scientists; launch a series of training sessions on the algorithm of actions and methodological recommendations regarding quality of research metadata, as well as linking other profiles from Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar to authorized ORCID profiles; monitor the accuracy of information and make any necessary changes. We plan to integrate the institutional repository and journals (category B) of VNAU.
Do you have any recommendations you would like to share with other members planning to use the tool?
Recommendations for using the tool:
- Follow the instructions and examples provided by the Consortium Lead (in our case in Ukraine, the SSTL of Ukraine);
- Do not give up if something doesn’t work or if something is not understood;
- Develop a clear action plan and control every operation.
What is your one key takeaway that you want to share about your experience?
In working with Affiliation Manager, we have found that the system is simple and useful for the scientific activities of each researcher at VNAU. Affiliation Manager is a researcher’s business card that opens up a space in the world of science at a global level.
Inna Viktorivna Honcharuk
Inna Viktorivna Honcharuk is the current Vice-Rector for Scientific, Pedagogical, Scientific and Innovative Activities of VNAU. She holds a Master’s degree in Accounting and Audit and a doctoral degree in Economics. With extensive experience in academia and various administrative roles, she has received recognition and awards for her contributions to the field. Inna has authored numerous scholarly works, including monographs, patents, and scientific articles. She has also participated in international conferences and served as the Chief Editor of a scientific publication. Her research focuses on sustainable development, energy independence, and the agro-industrial complex.