We should be just a number, and we should embrace it: Extend the use of ORCID?

Delighted to receive the news today that our article entitled “We should be just a number, and we should embrace it” has been accepted for publication in The Electronic Library.

The article supports the use of unique identifiers for the scientific community.

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is just one example of a currently available tool. This enables authors of scientific papers to attribute a unique identifier with any papers they write so that they can be uniquely identified. This resolves the author disambiguation problem.

The article further proposes that the unique identifier could be extended to other uses within the scientific community. For example, to track reviewers, program committee memberships, conference attendance, provide author permalink etc.

The abstract of the paper is below.

The paper is not available yet, as it was only accepted today, but if you are interested in seeing the paper when it is available, leave a comment and I’ll get it to you.

Purpose – This viewpoint article supports the use of unique identifiers for the authors of scientific publications. This, we believe, aligns with the views of many others as it would solve the problem of author disambiguation. If every researcher had a unique identifier there would be significant opportunities to provide even more services. These extensions are proposed in this paper.

Design/methodology/approach – We discuss the bibliographic services that are currently available. This leads to a discussion of how these services could be developed and extended.

Findings – We suggest a number of ways that a unique identifier for scientific authors could support many other areas of importance to the scientific community. This will provide a much more robust system that provides a much richer, and more easily maintained, scientific environment.

Originality/value – The scientific community lags behind most other communities with regard to the way it identifies individuals. Even if the current vision for a unique identifier for authors were to become more widespread, there would still be many areas where the community could improve its operations. This viewpoint paper suggests some of these, along with a financial model that could underpin the functionality.


This article was also published on LinkedIn.