The ORCID team had a fantastic week at the recent Research Data Alliance (RDA) 6th plenary meeting in Paris (September 23-25). These twice yearly meetings bring together a cross-section of scholarly infrastructure practitioners, providers, and users for three days of working meetings and is an excellent forum for inter-project communication. RDA is a firm favorite with ORCID as the research data community really understand the value of persistent identifiers (PIDs) like ORCID iDs, and are keen to see them widely adopted. Alongside the main meeting, several side events were held, including a joint Datacite/EPIC conference and THOR project focus groups.
THOR (Technical and Human Infrastructure for Open Research) is the follow-up to the successful ODIN (ORCID and DataCite Interoperability Network) project. It’s an EC-funded project with 10 partners, including ORCID, tasked with increasing the uptake of persistent identifier (PID) infrastructures. Four members of the ORCID/THOR team attended RDA and the related events – Josh Brown (Director – ORCID Europe), Alice Meadows (Director of Communications), Laura Paglione (Technical Director), and myself.
The PID interest group, which is co-chaired by ORCID, had a particularly busy session at RDA this year. Josh Brown and Patricia Cruise from Datacite introduced the audience to the THOR project. A key aspect of THOR is encouraging community collaboration and their presentation did just that.
Next, Laura Paglione from ORCID and Licia Florio from the AARC project discussed the current state of interoperation between the federated identity world and persistent identifiers. Their discussion highlighted recent work by ORCID with SURFnet and Edugain and generated a lot of audience interest. Finally, Martin Fenner, the technical director of DataCite, and Geoff Bilder, Director of Strategic Initiatives from CrossRef, discussed recent developments in the DOI world, including the ability to auto-update ORCID records.
Continuing on the federated identity theme, I presented on the role of persistent identifiers in the context of federated identity at the Federated Identity Management interest group session. There are several areas that THOR is investigating, in particular, the need for a co-ordinated approach to organizational identifiers. Again this generated a lot of useful discussion and action points, including a follow up at FIM4R.
Outside of these presentations, the ORCID team had productive conversations about a huge variety of interesting projects such as OpenAIRE and the Publishing Data Services Working Group. We were delighted to see ORCID discussed in so many different sessions and contexts and that to be there to answer the questions that arose. All in all, it was a very successful week and we look forward to RDA P7 in Tokyo next year.