(Note: This blog post contains links to pages in Portuguese)
The Federal University of Uberlândia (UFU) is a distinguished Brazilian institution known for its diverse academic programs, research endeavors, and community engagement. Located in the Triângulo Mineiro, in the city of Uberlândia, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, UFU is an innovation hub, offering valuable contributions to education, research, extension courses, and regional development.
In 2019, UFU became the first Brazilian federal university to join ORCID as an institutional member. Since then, the institution has developed several projects to facilitate ORCID adoption throughout the institutional level, including technical integrations, inclusion in policies, and use in key performance indicators (KPIs). This has also led to a clear work plan regarding training and integrations, covering the institutional repository, the periodicals portal, and future projects, such as the data repository, as well as data and metadata adaptations.
Technical integration and institutional policy support go hand in hand
The UFU libraries system has a central role in the coordination of ORCID-related activities. Thus, the first institutional integration was developed in the DSpace-based institutional repository. Current versions of DSpace (7 onwards) have an ORCID integration built in—all that is needed is turn the functionality on! This option was not available in 2019 when UFU integrated its repository with ORCID, so the institution developed the integration in a customized way.
From the beginning, the main focus has been on theses—dissertations and bachelor’s theses—produced as part of undergraduate programs, allowing for greater visibility of the academic production developed by students, PhD candidates, and supervisors. The integration development was accompanied by institutional policies requiring that all theses and dissertations deposited in the repository be accompanied by the authors’ authenticated ORCID iD.
More than 2,900 theses and dissertations, among other works, and more than 5,000 supervised student publications have been successfully added in the last five years. By adding this validated data to their researchers’ ORCID records, UFU not only improves the trustworthiness of those records, they also help strengthen the community trust model upon which ORCID is built, working together with other ORCID members to uphold research integrity on a global scale.
In 2021, the UFU Journal Portal was allocated to the Libraries System and, in 2022, ORCID was integrated into the journals portal built on the Open Journal System (OJS). As part of this integration, the Library System incorporated the responsibility of guiding the academic community in using persistent identifiers, especially Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and ORCID into its actions.
The technical part of the integration on this occasion consisted of installing the OJS-ORCID plugin, so the difficulty was greatly reduced. As OJS is an ORCID Certified Service Provider (CSP), it can help to facilitate the technical aspects of the integration so that ORCID can be adopted more quickly into institutional systems and processes.
In this way, UFU concluded its first phase of integrations, which has led it to currently (October 2023) have more than 1,2000 ORCID iDs of researchers, students and staff connected to the institution’s integrations, and more than 9,000 works added to ORCID records. These figures are also included in the library’s reports, which are part of UFU’s Institutional Development and Expansion Plan (PIDE): 2023-2027, as institutional KPIs, favoring an institution-wide understanding of the added value of ORCID.
Engaging researchers through an institutional Information Competence Program
To ensure that technical development efforts are effective, it is highly recommended to accompany them with a good communication and engagement strategy with researchers, students and university staff. In this way, a general awareness of ORCID, and, more specifically, how to use it in the context of institutional integrations is achieved.
This process was developed by creating specific guides for researchers on connecting their ORCID iD to the repository and with specific training on managing the iD provided by the library and available on its channel.
In this way, UFU, through the Libraries System, builds a solid knowledge base on ORCID and good management of the data related to its researchers and students. This allows the institution to further develop its activities in its integrations and future ones. And, also, to consider ORCID as a fundamental piece in the institution’s internationalization and selection processes for external mobility grants.
ORCID member organizations can improve the trustworthiness of researchers’ records by setting up an integration with ORCID that allows the pushing and pulling of ORCID data with researchers’ permission. For more information about how ORCID member organizations are integrating with ORCID, visit the resources section below.
Maira Nani França has a bachelor’s degree in Library Science, a master’s degree in Technology, Education and Communication from the Federal University of Uberlândia (UFU) and a PhD in Information Science from the State University of São Paulo (UNESP) in Brazil. She is currently Director of the UFU Library System and chair of the university’s Journal Portal Management Committee.