This blog post was authored by the ORCID Product team.
Last week ORCID’s Product team conducted our first-ever Product Interest Group webinar, welcoming nearly 100 members and key partners from all around the world to learn about ORCID’s development progress in 2020 and to ask us questions about what is on the horizon.
Participants from different sectors, including publishers, funders, research organizations, and service providers, learned about our new member portal, upcoming changes to the ORCID registry application, and got an update about our refreshed info site currently nearing completion.
Introducing the ORCID Product team
In 2019, ORCID set up our Product team, consisting of the Director of Product (Tom Demeranville), a Product Manager (Paula Demain), and a UX Designer (Dan Dineen). The Product team’s goal is simple: manage the ORCID product offerings, innovate where necessary, and prioritize features that the community needs.
Picking up the product conversation
As our team settled into our roles, we enjoyed learning about our community’s product needs through contact with researchers and members, as well as conversations with groups via existing working groups and our engagement team. However, these are often part of larger, wider ranging, policy-focused discussions. Pretty soon we realized how much we missed engaging with the people and organizations that help make ORCID what it is today to focus squarely on the functionality of our products, and how that functionality benefits our members, integrators, and researchers.
Thus, the Product Interest Group was launched.
Highlights from the first Product Interest Group webinar
The first Product Interest Group webinar last week was conducted by a panel made up of the Product Team, joined by Liz Krznarich, Tech Lead for New Projects, and Rob Blackburn, Web Producer. The panel presented developments that have been delivered in 2020 as well as a first look at some major developments on the horizon. If you missed this first webinar, we have a recording available (and we encourage you to attend an upcoming webinar!).
Here are the highlights.
Delivered in 2020
Registry speedup and UI improvements
Gradual accumulation of technical debt over the lifetime of the ORCID registry has resulted in an inevitable slowdown. We are working to create a more sustainable architecture to reverse this. Such a complex task takes time, and as we have been moving forward with this, we have made a number of changes to the UI.
Improvements to password and iD recovery: One of the most common types of tickets we receive, by far, is from users having trouble accessing their record; either they have forgotten their iD/username or have lost their password. At the log-in screen, users can now choose to either get their iD emailed to them or to reset their password. In both cases, we made a change to email the user (for security reasons) if the entered email address isn’t in our database instead of alerting them with an onscreen message.
A more user-friendly basic and advanced search: Both the basic and advanced search are being given a makeover and, as part of the feedback from the Product Interest Group, a number of cards have already been added to the User Feedback board for our UX designer to review.
Registration, sign-in, OAuth and more: We have completed the UX work for registration, sign-in, OAuth, Inbox notifications, Biography, and the ORCID Sidebar which we hope to roll out in the upcoming months. As part of this work, we are also ensuring that all languages we support in the registry are fully translated. Click on the image at right to see the new registration UI.
API Search Improvements
A number of improvements were made to the API Search which includes search results being returned in csv format, with users being able to specify the output columns from a list of available fields. With this in mind, we increased the API search results from 200 to 1000 in a single API call.
Member OIDC integrators can now track if ORCID users that have connected to their integration did so with 2FA enabled since we implemented Authentication Method Reference – AMR to the id_token. Members can now advise their users that to access certain applications, they’ll need to log in with ORCID and have 2FA enabled to provide the extra level of security if required.
ORCID is continually looking to improve the accessibility of our websites, applications, tools, and services. Our design, development, and quality assurance processes have accessibility ‘baked in’ from the outset. With this in mind, we issued an accessibility statement earlier this year. Click on the image below to see improvements to the public-facing ORCID record, to be rolled out soon.
The research ecosystem is still reeling from the effects of COVID-19 and will undoubtedly continue to do so well into the future. Many of our members are facing the realities of having to accomplish much more with fewer resources in the coming years. Though we are continuing to keep our eyes on the evolving repercussions of the pandemic, our initial response is to shift much of our focus to activities that will make it easier for members to engage with us, to understand the value and impacts of their membership, and to reduce the barriers to integration.
Lack of technical resources can pose a major barrier for a lot of members when attempting to integrate with the ORCID registry. The member portal is the new home for our suite of member-only tools that will allow consortia member organizations to easily add/edit affiliations on their researchers’ ORCID record, with no additional integration or advanced technical skills needed.
The tool is currently in beta testing with a number of our consortium members. Once our initial testing has been completed, we will work with the consortia community to gradually roll this feature out to their members.
Improved member reporting
We are delighted to announce that new and improved member reporting which will also be part of the suite of tools. These reports will help members understand the impact of their membership and integration and include metrics on how many researchers are connected with the members integration, as well as how many of those have been updated. Once we have rolled these out, we would be grateful for feedback on other stats you may require.
We’ve been working closely with the Comms team on our information website migrating from Drupal to WordPress. All content has been reviewed and updated, and we plan to support language translations in the future. We hope to launch the website later this year.
ROR on the roadmap
We have started to look at ways that we can implement ROR into the ORCID registry. We are planning to use ROR to improve the way we link equivalent org IDs in the registry and hope to provide an improved user experience and better quality metadata.
Addition of CRediT roles
We will add contributor roles based on CRediT Contributor roles taxonomy to the API. We will incorporate the CRediT roles into the current list of contributors roles in API 3.0. The new roles will be available alongside our existing roles.
Who funded it?
As requested by the community, we will be adding a new work relationship type to capture funding identifiers in the work metadata.
Stay involved with our product conversations
Now that the inaugural Product Interest Group webinar is safely tucked under our belts, we’re taking a moment to look at feedback from the attendees and make some tweaks to the seminar structure, style, and content for next time.
We invite you to follow all our developments on our public Trello boards. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or feedback!
If you are an ORCID member or key partner, we would like to receive your proposals for special interest groups.
Upcoming Product Interest Group webinars
Registration is open now for the second Product Interest Group webinar scheduled for Monday, December 7. In this webinar, we will engage with our community to gather feedback on the released products which we included in the first webinar (and within this post) plus a look at 2021 projects.
Our third Product Interest Group webinar will be held in March 2021. This session will be in Asia Pacific time (APAC) to allow our members and key partners in that region to join the session live. Stay tuned for more details.