MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XXVII No. 4
March / April 2015
Global Issues Confront Us All
Campus Conversation on Climate Change
Why MIT Faculty Should NOT Sign the Petition to Divest from Fossil Fuels
Review Conference on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to take Center Stage
A Guide to Proposing, Revising, and Terminating Curricula
Advancing a Respectful and
Caring Community
In Support of the ICEO Mission Statement
Let's Get to Work in "Advancing a Respectful and Caring Community"
The Faculty Role in Building and
Sustaining Community
Supporting the ICEO Report
Advancing a Caring Community Through Enhanced Student-Faculty Interaction
Graduate Student Perspective
on the ICEO Report
ORCID Researcher Identifiers to be Integrated into MIT Systems Beginning this Summer
Humanities and the Future of MIT Education
MIT Campus Research Expenditures
Printable Version

ORCID Researcher Identifiers to be Integrated
into MIT Systems Beginning this Summer

Lydia Snover, Micah Altman, Robert E. Campanella

ORCID (Open Researcher & Contributor ID), the community standard for identification of contributors in scholarly communication, is being integrated into MIT systems. The Office of the Provost, the MIT Libraries, and Information Services and Technology are working together, in coordination with OSP, ODGE, the Office of the Registrar, Human Resources, and the Office of the VPR, to implement ORCIDs at MIT. We plan to integrate ORCID into MIT systems, to make it easy for all members of the MIT community to obtain and manage ORCID identifiers, and to distribute ORCIDs to current scholars at MIT.

The Institute has increasing responsibility for evaluating and understanding the success of its scholars, postdocs, and students. Collecting complete, comprehensive, and accurate information about research publications and other scholarly outputs is a persistent hurdle for MIT. A substantial part of this challenge – which ORCID aims to solve – is linking outputs to scholars, when individuals have names in common or names that have changed over time; or when publishers represent names in different forms, or make errors in recording names. ORCID solves this problem by providing an open persistent numeric identifier that distinguishes each researcher from every other.

ORCID supports the creation of a permanent, clear, and unambiguous record of scholarly communication by enabling reliable attribution of authors and contributors.

ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-based effort to provide a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a method of linking research-related items, such as articles, to these identifiers. ORCIDs offer a mechanism that distinguishes individuals with common names, and is not affected by name changes, cultural differences in name order, inconsistent abbreviations (and name formats), or use of different alphabets. And ORCID is researcher-controlled; the researcher always has the final word over information that is included in their ORCID record.

MIT will use ORCID to automatically update the electronic professional record, and as an aid to identifying student outputs and accreditation. Use of ORCIDs will also increase the quality of information in MIT’s Open Access article collections, and decrease the cost of populating it.

For individual scholars, ORCIDs provide a means to distinguish between a researcher and other authors with identical or similar names. ORCIDs link together all of a researcher’s works even if they have used different names over their career. ORCIDs make it easier for others (e.g., grant funders) to find a researcher’s research output. ORCIDs help to ensure that a researcher’s work is clearly attributed to them.
Publishers and funders are using ORCID to create automated links between a researcher and his/her articles and datasets (as well as other research-related items) through integration in manuscript and grant submission workflows. Nearly all major publishers and manuscript submission systems support ORCID, and many are prompting authors to create ORCIDs during the submission process. Funders and related agencies are using ORCIDs to aid in the evaluation process and to streamline their submission and reporting processes. For example, NIH has integrated ORCIDs into the inter-agency biosketch platform SciENcv. And the U.S. D.O.E. has integrated ORCIDs into its grant submission system.

A growing number of universities are now systematically registering ORCIDs on behalf of their researchers and students and automatically incorporating these into university systems. At MIT, ORCID identifiers will be integrated into key systems including the Electronic Professional Record, DSpace, and the MIT data warehouse.

The planned implementation at MIT includes several phases. The first phase – which will be completed in May, is to prepare for ORCID deployment by developing local systems integration; gathering information on the ORCIDs already registered by members of the MIT community; and developing supporting documentation. The second phase, scheduled for this summer, will be to distribute ORCID IDs to a selected DLC. The third phase, scheduled for late summer, will be to distribute ORCID IDs to all faculty, followed by postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and other professional staff.

As the year progresses, the Office of the Provost will provide progress updates, and will begin to notify individual departments and faculty about their ORCID registration. Later this summer, information about ORCID integration will be available through the Libraries’  author identifier resources page; and the Libraries will provide consulting for MIT community members. In the interim, if you have any questions, please contact Lydia Snover or Micah Altman.

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