Why do I need an ORCID number? How are they useful for my research career?

Will the REAL Dr. Dave Smith stand up?

The other day I had to search for some papers written by a Dr Dave Smith.

Smith (as you may know) is one of the most common family names in English. Lots of Dave Smiths came up in my search, from universities all over the world. 

Luckily, I knew the subject area and some of Dr Smith’s previous work so was able to narrow down the search in part because of my own shared research area and because of the language (English in this case). 

This search did take a lot longer than expected, however. If only there were a better way to identify a particular researcher and their work…

What are ORCID ID numbers?

Visibility is key as you build up your reputation as a researcher. In the example above, it was hard for me to  find Dr Dave Smith’s work because of all the other Dr Dave smiths out there. 

Do you have your own ORCID researcher identification number? If not, then we recommend you get one!  Increasing numbers of researchers around the world have signed up for one of these unique numbers and you should too. 

ORCID is a really simple idea. Your ID is a unique number assigned only to you. Registering for an ORCID iD means that you’ll get a single, unique researcher number that ties you to all of your research work:  papers, outputs, grants, peer review, collaborations, institutions, colleagues, and so on. 

Why do I need an ORCID ID?

Being easy to locate outside of your research team in today’s fast-moving, largely digital world is hugely important. 

People (funders, university assessment panels, journal editorial offices) will want to know immediately if you wrote this or that paper, or if you would be suitable to be invited to be a peer reviewer for a particular topic or subject area. 

Your ID makes you easier to find quickly in searches carried out by reviewers, editors, and other researchers.  This can enhance your research reputation internationally by ensuring that colleagues are able to find you and your work.

You’ll also want to use one of these iDs the next time you submit a paper to a peer-reviewed journal or an abstract to an international conference. In order to be successful as an international researcher in your own right you need to be easily identifiable to colleagues all around the world, as we’ve discussed. 

Stand out from all the other Dr Smith’s in the world! Registration takes less than two minutes and is well worth your time.

Little green badges everywhere

Keep an eye out for ORCID’s little green icon. You’ll see it next to the names of authors at the top of papers, in the ‘contributions’ section, and next to named peer reviewers in the ‘acknowledgements’ section of papers. 

ORCID identification numbers are becoming more and more common across the publishing industry.Iincreasing numbers of academic journals and publishing companies are mandating their use when authors submit papers, while journal and researcher information sites are asking for access to your number when, for example, collating publication information or assessing grant applications. 

In many cases you’ll now find that you can’t physically submit an article to a journal unless you’ve registered for one of these unique numbers. This is the case in the journal I manage, for example. 

(One of the ways you can sign up here to the Edanz Learning Lab is by using your ORCID identification number!)

Get proper credit for your research work

ORCID numbers are useful because they ensure that you actually get credit for research you’ve done and published that otherwise might be missed by a search engine or assessment agency.

If you’ve already registered yourself on an academic network such as Academia.edu or ResearchGate, you’ll know the feeling. Sites like these often send out automated emails asking you, the researcher, if you are responsible for x and y publications that have appeared and have been tentatively assigned to your profile based on subject area or family name.

Using an ORCID iD removes this problem: no-one can confuse you, or your papers, with someone else or their work. This is good news, especially if you have a common family name like “Smith”!

ORCID identification numbers are thus also an important part of the move towards more open research and international scholarship. We all want to do our part.

Maintain your online CV and searchable research presence for FREE

The ORCID interface searches a number of other online resources as well as literature databases to capture your current and past published work. 

The system assembles a CV for you, basically, as you are also able to add other information such as current research information, ongoing grants, and projects. 

ORCID identification numbers are therefore more than just a way to get you and your work better known and searchable internationally. Getting one of these IDs means you’ll be able to promote your work and research profile around the world much more effectively!

Find out more about ORCID

Visit the ORCID website at: https://orcid.org. You can register for your free ID and manage your ID there. 

What if you have more than one ORCID ID? This is not recommended, because it means your “brand” is being diluted. You’ll need to consolidate your IDs into one.

Edanz experts can help

Got questions about promoting yourself or your research? Need help building your CV? Want to make a greater impact? Our Edanz experts can help. Ask us anything!

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