Last year we launched a new webinar series—“I’m a Member, Now What?!”—to help new member organizations get the most out of their memberships and accelerate their integration development and uptake of ORCID within their organizations. This blog post contains some of the information we shared in the third webinar in the series.
What exactly is an ORCID integration?
ORCID offers two APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that allow organizations to connect—or integrate—their institutional systems with the ORCID Registry, which includes reading from and writing to ORCID records. Some API functions, such as collecting authenticated iDs and reading publicly available data in the ORCID registry, are freely available to anyone through the Public API; on top of that, others, such as writing data to the ORCID registry and reading data available only for trusted parties, are only available to ORCID member organizations through the Member API. Integrations require authentication, which means users should log in with their ORCID iD and authorize the action. By doing so, the correct match between users and their iDs is guaranteed, while making sure users retain control of their record.
ORCID integrations can be established in a number of different ways. The simplest way is through scholarly service providers (SPs). This is the approach we recommend organizations explore first, as many of them already have a system installed that offers built-in support for ORCID in current research information (CRIS/RIM), funding, repository, and publishing platforms. Depending on the organization’s ORCID membership level—and depending on the functionality provided by each unique vendor—these systems may enable them to collect authenticated ORCID iDs or read data from ORCID records, write data to ORCID records, or synchronize data between their systems and ORCID records in ORCID’s registry. Some of these systems may have been certified by us as following our best practices for optimal end user experience, (we call these Certified Service Providers). There are a number of other scholarly vendor systems that support ORCID, but have not yet been certified.
Alternatively, ORCID can assist in developing a custom integration, which is an integration that is designed and developed by an institution to fulfill its unique needs for a variety of different workflows. Lastly, consortium members have access to the Affiliation Manager, which allows for institutions to update affiliation data to their researchers’ records without needing to build an integration, among other benefits.
ORCID member organizations—both consortia and direct—can use their API keys to build up to five integrations depending on membership level. Our basic membership allows one member API key, and premium membership allows up to five member API keys that can be used to build integrations.) Credentials used for SP and Affiliation Manager integrations are included in the one or the five keys we provide, and additional ones available for a fee.
With an integration enabled, the ORCID record can effectively serve as an “information hub”, allowing researchers to reliably connect to their research contributions, as well as to share information from their ORCID record as they interact with institutional systems. By using ORCID in their systems, organizations can uniquely identify the researchers and contributors they work with. As more researchers use ORCID, their work will become more discoverable in the larger research ecosystem.
Member organizations can also play an important part in building a trusted research infrastructure by asserting connections between researchers and their activities. By first asking researchers for permission, organizations that hold information on employment, publications, grants and awards, or other metadata can then update the records with information. This creates an additional level of trust by vouching for the researchers who have affiliations across the world.
Best practices and steps towards a successful integration
To ensure that an organization builds the best possible integration for administrators, researchers, and the wider research community, we recommend some best practices, with more detail about each of these found on our website.
- Customize the user experience
- Provide a workflow for users if they deny your system permission
- Provide an option for users to remove their ORCID iD and data from your system
- Update added items when corrections are needed using the item’s unique code
- Display the ORCID member logo
- Use the access token to check for existing permissions
Options for integrating with ORCID
Currently ORCID hosts more than 4,500 active integrations! Additionally, almost 70% of the data in our registry was added by member integrations, so to say integrations are an important part of what we do is an understatement.
One of the biggest keys for new member organizations to get the most out of their membership is to identify where ORCID fits into their existing systems and workflows. The following list is simply an example of some of the workflows that our members have improved by connecting with the ORCID registry.
- Sign-in/OAuth process
- Account settings/user profile
- Faculty review
- eThesis/Dissertation submission
- Conference registration
- Journal/paper review submission
- Data repository submissions
- Resources use application
- Funding requests
To recap, our member organizations get one member API key (basic members) or up to five member API keys (premium members) that can be used to build integrations. Organizations that are members through one of our consorta (premium by default) can use one of these keys to use the Affiliation Manager that is provided with their membership.
New member organizations should check to see if they already have an institutional system installed that integrates with ORCID. If so, this can save time and avoid the need to build a custom integration. However, should a custom integration be necessary, then the ORCID team has resources to help!
Simply contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In case you missed the latest I’m a Member, Now What?! session, you can still access the webinar recording and our Outreach Resources that we specifically developed for new member organizations. Additionally, feel free to access our previous sessions in this series and reach out to us if you have any questions!
Use cases across the the research ecosystem