In anticipation of Open Access Week, ORCID recently released our annual data file under a CC0 waiver. ORCID was founded on a set of 10 principles that we continue to observe today, including that all data contributed to ORCID by researchers or claimed by them will be available in standard formats for free download (subject to the researchers’ own privacy settings).
The public data file is available here in XML format but can be converted to JSON by using our ORCID Conversion Library in our Github repository. Read in our Public Data File Use Policy for more information about using.
Making publicly-accessible data found in ORCID records available to the research community is an important part of our mission as an open infrastructure provider. But how researchers take and use this data is always surprising while contributing to our greater understanding of the research ecosystem.
How is the community using the file?
One such use of the ORCID public data file was found in research published in Scientometrics in June 2021 entitled: Exploring the relevance of ORCID as a source of study of data sharing activities at the individual-level: a methodological discussion (an Open Access version is also available in ArXiv). One of the co-authors of the study, Nicolás Robinson-García, shared more insight with us about how this research came together. It was part of Andrea Sixto-Costoya’s research stay at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies in Leiden, Netherlands during her PhD. (She was the first author of the study.)
Robinson-García said that Sixto-Costoya was working on data sharing practices and was interested in doing a macro-study to understand who was sharing data and to what extent they were doing so. The research team knew from previous analyses that DataCite was feeding their records to ORCID, as were other repositories such as Zenodo. This led them to consider ORCID as the place to go to undertake their analysis.
“ORCID is the only data source that can potentially offer data at the individual level on the production of different types of research outputs other than journal articles,” said Robinson-García. “Although there are many issues with regard to the completeness of the database and a lack of understanding on potential biases derived from such incompleteness, we believed that it was worth exploring to what extent we were able to capture data sharing practices through ORCID.”
He added that these studies are valuable in multiple ways: “We believe that these types of studies are not only scientifically valuable, as they inform on the potential opportunities and limitations on the use of different bibliometric data sources, but also help promote and expand their use by showing how they can boost researchers’ visibility and showcase the diversity of research outputs and scientific profiles that co-exist in the scientific ecosystem.”
Every year, we look forward to seeing how the research community will take advantage of the data file! Tag us on social media to let us know your plans for using this free, open source of data!
Nicolas Robinson-Garcia is a Ramón y Cajal fellow in the field of bibliometrics and research evaluation at the University of Granada. He is director of the EC3 Research Group, Associate Editor on Open Science and New Metrics for the journal Scientometrics, and member of the Steering Committee of the European Summer School for Scientometrics. His research interests are research careers and diversity, and science communication and social outreach. He is also a member of the editorial board of Research Evaluation and Quantitative Science Studies, and member of the Advisory Board of the International Center for the Study of Research.