If someone asks you, as a researcher, what you hate most about your work, the chances are you will say form-filling. Keying in the same information, time after time – often for the same organization! – is frustrating, increases the risk of errors, and reduces the amount of time you can spend actually doing research. Nature’s 2016 salary survey (summarized here) found that researchers typically spend 21% of their time on writing grant applications and other administrative tasks. At the recent Brazil ORCID consortium launch, CAPES noted that they estimate their researchers spend 30% of their time performing administrative tasks. FCT in Portugal, have even developed a tool to calculate how much time (and money!) is spent by researchers manually adding the same information to multiple systems.
At ORCID, we are working with our member organizations to build systems that allow you to spend more time doing research, and less time managing it. There are now over 550 systems and platforms that have made it possible for researchers to share their ORCID iD securely, with more in the pipeline. Many of these systems connect your ORCID iD with your contribution (paper, grant, dataset, thesis, affiliation, etc.) and also give you the option to approve addition of your published contribution to your ORCID record, making it easier for you to share information with the other organizations you interact with.
Most research systems routinely request information about researchers’ education and employment affiliations. Your own institution is clearly the most reliable source of that information. Increasingly, ORCID member organizations are enabling trusted connections — assertions — between your ORCID iD and information about your affiliation with a research organization. Of course, there are many types of affiliation in addition to employment and education. Our affiliation types enable research institutions, associations, and others to also make connections between your iD and information about your honorary positions, service or membership, and qualifications. With your permission, these assertions can be added to your ORCID record for you to share as you interact with a variety of application and submission systems.
Signing into systems
Over the course of your career, you’ll probably submit papers to many different journals. To help streamline the manuscript submission process, publishers are using ORCID services to support single sign on (see, for example, this video), saving you the hassle of remembering multiple usernames and passwords. You can also use your institutional ID to sign in to ORCID, as well as your Facebook or Google account.
Published works and funding
Using your iD when submitting a paper or review means you can more easily update a variety of systems with information about your published work. Many publishers collecting iDs are passing them on to Crossref and DataCite (for publications) and Publons (for reviews); they, in turn, add information about the work to your ORCID record. You simply have to grant permission! Other publishers, including the American Geophysical Union, eLife, F1000, and the Society for Neuroscience, are connecting review information directly to ORCID records.
We are also working with funders around the world to enable the collection of iDs and other data from your ORCID record during the grant application process. As well as making the application process easier for you, the goal is that the funder will update your ORCID record with your funded award information, so you can easily share it when interacting with other systems.
There are many other research activities that — always with your permission — can be connected with your ORCID iD and updated into your record, to enable sharing with other systems you interact with. One example are the research resources you use to do your work, such as user facilities, laboratories, special collections, and so on. With a group of research resources, publishers, and funders, we together have defined an end-to-end workflow for collecting ORCID iDs in resource access proposal workflows, updating your ORCID record when the proposal is approved, and establishing a workflow to share this information when you submit a paper or dataset.
Our ultimate goal is to enable transparent and trusted connections between your ORCID iD and your contributions and affiliations, and to make it easier to share this information as you interact with various information systems. Instead of keying in the same information again and again, all you need to do is use your iD when you interact with a research system, grant permissions to update your record, and share the information with the next system you interact with. Enter information once and reuse it often!