What is an affiliation?
An affiliation is a relationship between a person and an organization, linking the two. Record owners can add affiliations manually using our user interface and ORCID members can add affiliations to ORCID records using the ORCID API or affiliation manager.
Each affiliation item describes a single and complete affiliation. An ORCID record may have multiple overlapping affiliations, and the metadata is included in our user interfaces and API responses.
Why should I add affiliations for my researchers?
ORCID enables you to add authoritative information about your staff, faculty, and students to their ORCID records. This information can be re-used by manuscript submission systems and grant application systems to help quickly and accurately populate forms. It can also be re-used by reporting platforms and research information systems to work out which outputs are associated with your organization.
Adding information to ORCID records and avoiding the re-keying of data saves time and effort of researchers and administrative staff. This saves money, improves morale and leaves people free to perform more useful tasks. Less re-entering of existing data results in higher quality reporting by reducing transcribing errors and allowing researchers more time to provide contextual and qualitative information on activities and innovative outputs
In combination with other persistent identifiers, ORCID can also help you take control of how your institution’s name is used across research systems, by associating researchers with your preferred name and organization identifier.
In addition to adding affiliations, you will be able to identify the researchers you work with during the same workflow, and gain better insights into their research activity. By collecting ORCID iDs your services will be able to ensure it has exactly the right researcher, not someone else with the same name.
What does an affiliation contain?
All affiliation sections use the same set of metadata in the API:
- Organization name: The name of the organization, usually at the highest level
- e.g. “Boston University”, “Wellcome trust”
- Organization city: City where the organization is based, using the headquarters/rectorate for multicampi organizations
- e.g. “London”
- Organization country: The country of the organization. This should be populated with the two letter ISO 3166 Alpha-2 country code.
- e.g. CA, ZA, CN
- Organization ID: A unique identifier for the organization and its source. This is a Ringgold, ROR or GRID identifier. Required in the V3.0 API, optional in earlier versions.
- Role/Title: The relationship with the organization.
- e.g. this could be the position held, degree awarded, prize gained etc. More examples below.
- Department: Any subdivision of the parent organization.
- e.g. “Department of Geology”, “Institutional data repository” or “Journal of Medicine”
- URL: A URL to a resource about the affiliation
- e.g. a link to a page on an institutional system such as a researcher profile page.
- Start date: The date the relationship between the researcher and organization began (can be specified down to year, month, and day).
- End date: The date the relationship between the researcher and organization ended (can be specified down to year, month, and day)
- Organization region: Region where the organization is based.
- e.g. “Lower Saxony” or “Rio de Janeiro”
- An external persistent identifier describing the affiliation: A unique identifier for the actual affiliation assertion
- e.g. a link to an employment record or certificate ID
What affiliation types does ORCID support?
There are many nuances to consider when categorising affiliations. Roles can have different definitions, and affiliation names can have different meanings depending on context and location. A good example is “Fellow”, which can mean very different things in different institutions. Many affiliations can potentially fit within more than one category – postdoctoral work is categorised by some as Employment and others as Education. Similarly, society positions may be considered employment, membership, service or invited positions depending on the society rules or current practice.
The model described here is an attempt to guide those who are updating and reading ORCID records, but is not rigidly enforced. However, we strongly suggest members use the advised category where available unless there is a compelling case to do otherwise. Although exceptions will be made, a general agreement on categorisation will make it easier for those reading from the registry to locate relevant affiliations.
|Types||Definition||Suggested content||Example Roles/titles|
|Employment||A formal employment affiliation with an organization – paid or unpaid||Formal positions including faculty, postgraduate researchers, internships, society employee, other staff and contractors||“Professor of Chemistry””Head librarian””Data scientist”|
|Education||Participation in an academic higher education program. May be designated as in progress or unfinished||Undergraduate, graduate, masters, doctorate degrees||“PhD. Chemistry””BS in Human Physiology””Master of Engineering”|
|Qualification||Professional or vocational accreditation, certification or training undertaken by an individual. May be designated as in progress or unfinished||Professional and continuing education qualifications, training and other certification||“Data security certification””Qualitative Methodology Mini Course””Certificate A3″”Licence to practice”|
|Invited Position||An invited non-employment affiliation. The individual may be based at a different organization. This category includes formal acknowledgements of an individual’s academic efforts through honorary titles and/or positions which require no specific service. May be paid or unpaid||Honorary fellow, guest researcher, emeritus professor, visiting lecturer||“Adjunct Professor””Guest Editor””Key Stakeholder””Invited Professor – Critical Thinking””Visiting Associate Professor”|
|Distinction||This category is for honorary and other awards, distinctions, and prizes made by an organization in recognition of an individual’s academic or other achievements||Trophies, cash prizes, non-cash prizes, medals, honorary degrees||“Chancellor Award””Second Place Abstract Award Winner””University Gold Medal””Best conference paper prize”|
|Membership||Paid or gratis membership of a society or association (i.e. does not include honorary memberships and fellowships as defined under Invited Position and Distinctions)||Member of an association or society||“Life member””Associate Member”|
|Service||Significant donations of time, money, or other resources to an organization or community. Includes volunteer work such as society officer positions, agricultural extension work, other voluntary work||Standards body, expert panel, editorial board, study group, conference organizer, conference panel chair, committee work, project work, volunteer society officer, elected board position||“Project group member””Member of the editorial board””Community Manager””National Advisory Committee member”|
- Each affiliation should have a start date, and if appropriate, an end date – this makes it easier to calculate which affiliations are current.
- Each affiliation should have an Organization ID, such as a RINGGOLD, GRID or ROR ID
- We recommend that the parent organization (and not the division or department) organization is used within the affiliation. Department information can be added in a separate field.
- Organization IDs are mandatory when adding using the ORCID API, but optional when adding manually using the user interface – it is added for the researcher selects their organization from a drop down.
- Blog post announcing new affiliation types
- Working with organization identifiers
- Member workflows:
- Researcher documentation: