One of the questions I’m often asked is when ORCID will reach the “tipping point”. Adoption is widespread: close to two million researchers have registered, over 200 systems have integrated ORCID iDs, and research funders have started to require iDs during the grant application process.
That said, the broader benefits of ORCID to researchers, their organizations, and the scholarly community are realized as the network of connection points — and their use by researchers — grows.
So, we were delighted when three publishers approached us late in 2015 with the news that they were planning to require ORCID iDs for their authors in 2016. eLife, PLOS, and The Royal Society recognized the value of widespread ORCID adoption and felt that they could achieve more by taking joint action. They asked for our help in providing information and tools for a common low-barrier user experience. Together, we agreed to publish an open letter on the ORCID website to explain why they are committing to requiring ORCID iDs for their authors, detailing guidelines for how to integrate ORCID into publishing workflows, and providing a webform for other publishers to sign the letter. A further five publishers – AGU, EMBO, Hindawi, IEEE, and Science – have subsequently signed the letter ahead of its publication today, and a number of others have told us that they expect to do so over the coming months.
With more than 3,000 journals already collecting ORCID iDs from corresponding authors, through all major manuscript submission systems, publishers are especially well placed to encourage ORCID adoption. About 75% of ORCID registrations occur because journals are asking authors to include their ORCID iD during the publication process, typically through one of several manuscript submission systems that have implemented ORCID (Editorial Manager, eJournalPress, HighWire, ScholarOne, and some versions of OJS). And 55% of respondents to our recent survey first heard of ORCID through a publisher. What’s more, a full 75% of respondents said that they support publishers requiring ORCID iDs.
Benefits for researchers, in addition to improved discoverability of their works, include single sign-on across journals and streamlined data entry. The recent launch of Crossref’s auto-update functionality means that researchers can opt to have their ORCID record automatically updated when their papers are published, which in turn means that university and other systems can receive updates directly and reduce reporting burden on researchers.
Now, when I’m asked about the tipping point, my answer will be: no time like the present.