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ORCiD: Why do I need an ORCID iD?

You may have heard of ORCID iDs but don't know what they are for or how to create one. This guide explains why you might need one, how to sign up and how ORCID identifiers are being used by organisations, publishers and funding organisations.

Bring all your scholarly outputs together in one place

Overcome name confusion and claim all YOUR research outputs

Your name is probably not unique and you may find that your academic outputs get confused with those of someone with a similar name when they are listed in bibliographic databases such as Scopus, PubMed, Dimensions or Web of Science. This means that citations to your papers could get lost and you could be credited with citations from the wrong papers. By tying your publications and research outputs to your ORCID iD, they become more discoverable.

Name confusion is a particular problem if you come from a country where some family names are very common. 

You may have publications that use different variants of your name first name and initials that you want to make sure are identified as your output.

You may also choose to change your name at some point in your career. Your ORCID identifier remains the same and so all your outputs can be amalgamated despite the change in name.

By signing up for an ORCID identifier, you have one identifier that will belong only to you and that you can keep throughout your academic career, regardless of the institution at which you work.

Funder requirements

Many grant funders are now insisting that applications include ORCID identifiers. Well known funders such as the UK Research Councils, the Wellcome Trust and many US funding organisations are capturing ORCID iDs during the application process. This should cut down the time filling in data on applications and also enable the research organisations to correctly identify you.

Publisher requirements

Attributing authorship correctly is a major issue for publishers. Many publishers are now incorporating ORCID identifiers into their manuscript submission systems and peer reviewing processes. Using your ORCID identifier may speed up the manuscript process and your ORCID profile can be automatically updated by the publisher once your manuscript is accepted and then later published.

Welcome to OrcidUsed under the terms of the CCBY 2.0 license, graphic produced by Jenny Cham @jennifercham

Did you know?

In South Korea, over half the population share only three family names - Kim, Lee and Park. 

The top five surnames in the UK are Smith, Jones, Taylor, Brown and Williams. 

Wordcloud of common names

Image from Behind the Name with kind permission of Mike Campbell.

Sign up for an ORCID ID

It is very easy to sign up for an ORCID iD

  1. Register for your ORCID Identifier in 30 seconds
  2. Add information about you - employment, education - and import your articles, books, grants, datasets and more
  3. Use your ORCID iD on your webpage and in your research and scholarly activities


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