Lea esto en español.
I’ve just returned from a trip through Spain, wonderfully coordinated by Consol Garcia of Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya – Barcelona Tech. We met with researchers, library consortia, universities, research institutes, state and federal government research organizations, and with CRIS and repository vendors as we criss-crossed the country from Barcelona, to Madrid, Logrono, and Sevilla.
As a country, Spanish researchers are among the top users of the ORCID Registry, consistently in the top 5 since launch a year ago, and Universidad de Oviedo, in the north of the country, was the first European university to join the initiative. In talking with researchers, two things are driving this usage: the structure of Spanish names and strong push for evaluation at the state and national level. The Spanish people usually have two last names, one maternal and one paternal. In publishing research results, either, both, or a hyphenated version may be used, leading to 4 possible variations. Add to that special characters, common last names, and the tendency to have more than one first name and it is clear that Spanish researchers can have fairly serious issues with consistency and ambiguity in how their name is expressed within and across databases that affect discoverability. This alone is incentive enough for many researchers to participate in ORCID.
An additional incentive is how researchers are evaluated. When a university attempts to collect works produced by its researchers, it uses name strings for authors and institutions in its search queries. Ambiguous name strings affect the quality and completeness of data used in these evaluations. To remedy this situation, Spanish researchers have not only been registering for an ORCID identifier, but also linking with Researcher ID and Scopus Author ID. This allows researchers to disambiguate their works in Web of Science and Scopus, and since both repositories store the ORCID iD ex post (and receive it from publishers ex ante), it means that publication data used for evaluation purposes can be that much more accurate, a real benefit to both the researcher and their organization.
It is not just Spanish researchers who have been adopting ORCID. There is a clear readiness to incorporate ORCID identifiers in a variety of systems and processes across Spain. Prior to my visit, in July the Portal de la Recerca de Catalunya (h) had announced the implementation of ORCID iDs in their portal. Other Library consortia including Madroño and REBUIN are discussing integration. Universidad Zaragoza and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid are ORCID members and are testing the ORCID record creation process for faculty, with plans to launch early in 2014. Other universities are in the process of becoming members. Sigma, a non-profit CRIS system vendor that supports a number of Spanish universities, plans to support ORCID identifiers in their products. The FECYT CVN system is a structure for collecting CVs from researchers from 46 Spanish universities plus some research centers. FECYT is in the process of mapping the CVN ontology to become compliant with the EuroCRIS CERIF standard. CERIF includes a set of fields to specify an ORCID iD, meaning it will be possible for universities using the CVN system to pass through the ORCID iD for their researchers. Sistema de Información Científica de Andalucia (SICA), which in addition to providing research funding also supports Investig-AN, a curriculum manager of production and scientific activity based on the CVN standard that is used by 10 Andalucian universities and research centers, is discussing how ORCID identifiers may play a role in record validation by researchers.
Integration of ORCID identifiers into primarily Spanish-language research repositories such as Redalyc and DialNet, through search and link tools and by adding ORCID fields to the underling database, can make Spanish-language texts and journals more easily discoverable within and outside of Spain.
Increased discoverability means researchers can get wider acknowledgement of their contributions, improve accessibility and use of these contributions, and support effective evaluation by expanding the lens by which contributions are assessed, benefiting individuals and the international research community. There is certainly an increasing interest in ORCID in Spain, not only from universities but also from CRIS managers and vendors, research repositories, funding agencies, and government institutions for which ORCID can help to uniquely identify researchers of such a hospitable country.