We are delighted to announce that Italy will be implementing ORCID on a national scale, and has signed a three-year consortium membership agreement with ORCID. Under the auspices of ANVUR and CRUI (the Conference of Italian University Rectors), 70 universities and four research centers will initially participate in the consortium. This large-scale adoption will underpin the IRIDE (Italian Researcher IDentifier for Evaluation) Project, using a platform developed by Cineca. The project’s goal is to ensure that at least 80% of Italian researchers have an ORCID iD, with links to their research output back to 2006, by the end of 2016.
As a result of this agreement, Italian researchers and their institutions will benefit from access to and integration with the ORCID registry, including setting up and maintaining disambiguated records for all researchers and linking these to their publications and other research outputs – leading in turn to a simpler, more reliable evaluation process.
ANVUR is Italy’s National Agency for the Evaluation of the University and Research Institutes. The agency manages the VQR, a four-year summative national research assessment exercise, in which all Italian universities participate. ANVUR sees the use of ORCID in the VQR as a means to reduce the reporting workload for researchers and administrators alike, while at the same time improving data quality. To this end, ANVUR plans to require researchers participating in the 2011-2014 VQR to register for an ORCID iD, and connect their ORCID record and relevant bibliometric databases with all publications submitted for evaluation. Professor Stefano Fantoni, President of ANVUR stated that: “ANVUR is pleased for this agreement, as it will facilitate and make more reliable the Agency’s evaluation tasks. In particular, the incoming national assessment of research (VQR 2011-2014) will constitute an occasion not to be missed to provide all Italian professors and researchers with the ORCID identifier and to link to it the publications submitted for evaluation”.
Cineca, a not-for-profit consortium representing 70 Italian universities, four Italian research institutions, and the Italian Ministry of Education, is responsible for the ORCID implementation. Cineca’s role includes creating a central ORCID hub that will facilitate the adoption of the identifier by Italian researchers, enabling immediate use of the API from the member’s institution, collecting authorizations required to use the Identifier in multiple services, and providing reporting functionalities. The next step will be to use this approach to provide innovative services such as synchronization and notification. Cineca’s intention is to release the Hub as open-source software, to help other countries to profit from this experience. The Hub will be integrated with IRIS, Cineca’s RIMS solution based on DSpace-CRIS. Cineca’s President, Professor Emilio Ferrari welcomed the agreement: “At Cineca we are pleased and proud to continue to support the national academic system with our skills and infrastructures: the implementation of ORCID is part of the activities that characterize the role of service of the consortium to the research community”.
ORCID will be supporting the rollout in Italy with technical help desk advice, an Italian user interface and communications documentation, and a central web interface to enable participating universities to coordinate effort. Executive Director, Laure Haak, noted that: “This large-scale ORCID implementation shows how persistent identifiers can be used to improve the flow of research information. Connecting national and international research infrastructures is a great way to deliver a better experience for researchers and administrators who have to collect and share information about research. Our team is looking forward to working with CINECA, in concert with other ORCID member organizations, to ensure a smooth integration.”