Distinctions in ORCID records, as part of the Professional activities, refer to a section where significant achievements, honors, awards, and recognitions within their professional or academic careers are showcased.
Including Distinctions in an ORCID record provides a comprehensive overview of an individual’s professional accomplishments beyond their research outputs and affiliations. This can help colleagues, collaborators, and institutions better understand the person’s impact and recognition within their respective fields. Keeping the Distinctions section updated ensures that an individual’s complete professional profile is accurately represented within the research ecosystem.
ORCID member organizations can contribute to this recognition—and to the trustworthiness of their researchers’ records—by adding data on prizes, medals, or honorary degrees (among others) awarded by the organization.
In this post, we present the work developed by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES, English: Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education) in Brazil and Royal Society Te Apārangi in New Zealand in adding prizes to ORCID records.
Recognizing excellent thesis and dissertations
CAPES Award for Theses (Prêmio CAPES de Tese) acknowledges excellent thesis and dissertations completed within Brazilian post-graduate programs according to criteria of innovativeness, significance for scientific, technological, cultural, social, and innovative advancement, and the contribution by the education system to the candidate.
The prize was established in 2005 and awarded for the first time in 2006. Since then, more than 4,000 prizes have been awarded (1,530 awards and 2,495 honorable mentions), covering main authors, supervisors, and co-supervisors.
The prize encompasses all fields of knowledge represented in rigorous post-graduate assessments. One of its goals is to amplify the recognition of CAPES’ constructive and incentivizing endeavors within Brazilian post-graduate education.
When the thesis or dissertation is registered for the award, researchers can log in to the system using their ORCID and grant the corresponding permissions to CAPES.
Once the prize has been awarded, the system manages the data sent to ORCID by selecting different filters. Filters include, among others, the dissertation knowledge area, the prize edition, the contributor role (author, supervisor, or co-supervisor), the type of award (honorable mention, prize, and grand prize), and the awarded work (thesis or dissertation). If permissions to send updates to ORCID weren’t granted when submitting the thesis for the prize, awardees would be asked to grant them.
Finally, the award is sent to the ORCID record of the awardee. In addition to increasing the visibility of the award, it allows the portability of the item and its use as a reference in future stages of the awardee’s scientific career.
Recognizing transformative scientific advances
The New Zealand ORCID consortium is led by Royal Society Te Apārangi, a scholarly association at the heart of academic research and publishing in New Zealand. In addition to publishing several academic journals, as well as providing government with expert advice, Royal Society Te Apārangi also serves as host for review panels for the research funding awards it distributes. And finally, Te Apārangi issues a wide variety of prizes to researchers in a number of disciplines, including the Prime Minister’s Science Prize.
An example is this researcher, whose Hector Medal award in 2022 “recognizing outstanding work in chemical physical or mathematical and information sciences by a researcher in New Zealand” appears in their ORCID record’s Distinctions section. Last but not least, the source appears as Royal Society Te Apārangi, aiding in the integrity that this distinction was added by the organization that conferred it.
In order to write this Distinction information, Royal Society Te Apārangi used the New Zealand ORCID Hub, which is a web application that allows information to be written to ORCID records by consortium members using a simple user interface. This Hub permits the writing of authenticated professional activities, affiliations, funding, works, peer reviews, and researcher resources to ORCID records using just a CSV file or JSON file upload.
The most tangible example of saving researchers from administrative burden is the inclusion of a wide range of details of scholarly activities, beyond a list of publications. Organizations that aid in this by adding verified Peer Review, Editorial Service, Invited Positions and Distinctions stand to gain researchers’ trust and appreciation. We’re glad that Royal Society Te Apārangi is providing this wonderful additional context to the work New Zealand researchers perform.
If your organization is an ORCID member, you are in a unique position to improve the trustworthiness of researchers’ ORCID records—and contribute to the community trust model espoused by ORCID—by adding validated data about their Professional activities, including Distinctions, to their records. Many popular publishing platforms have ORCID integration built-in as part of our Certified Service Provider program—all you have to do is turn the functionality on!. Are you part of a consortium? Consortium members can also use the Affiliation Manager to assert Distinction data.
Edmilson Coelho Chaves Junior
Edmilson holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Catholic University of Brasília, Brazil (https://ror.org/0058wy590 ). He is member of the career of Analyst in Information Technology, and currently acts as Data Information Coordinator at CAPES (Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education).
Alex is the ORCID lead at Royal Society Te Apārangi, based in Wellington, New Zealand. As ORCID Lead, Alex manages the New Zealand ORCID Consortium and supports all 48 consortium members in utilising their ORCID membership. Alex’s role includes promoting ORCID nationally, providing technical support to consortium members, creating consortium documentation, hosting events and managing the NZ ORCID Hub product. Alex also holds a PhD in Social Psychology from University of Portsmouth, UK.