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Learning Patience: Taking a Step Back on Affiliation Assertion Requirements
ORCID is committed to enabling traceable connections between researchers and their activities and affiliations. This includes using identifiers for things (such as DOIs) and places (such as organization identifiers), as well as people. In many cases, however, identifiers are not yet widely used. In some cases, there is not yet an understanding that identifiers are needed.
When we first launched affiliation functionality in 2013 (see Organizational Affiliations Now Part of ORCID Record), our focus was on organization identifiers. These made it possible for us to create an organization pick list for researchers to choose from when adding employment and education affiliation information to their ORCID record. Since then, researchers have used this pick list to make over 5m such assertions, and increasingly their institutions are using the ORCID API to add affiliation information for their own researchers – to date, researchers have given permissions for over 100K such assertions.
However, what about researchers who have more than one affiliation at the same institution, over time or at the same time? In this case, simply connecting a person’s ORCID ID with an organization ID is not enough. And even with additional role metadata, there is no clear way to resolve the affiliation: to find a web page or other independent digital information for that affiliation. Some institutions have faculty and staff profile pages, but by and large these pages are removed when a faculty member moves to a new organization. And let’s not even ask about students, who most often don’t have any online representation hosted by their institution.
As part of our push toward trusted assertions (see Assertion Assurance Pathways: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?), we decided that our new API release candidate (3.0) should require affiliation assertions added to an ORCID record by any source to include either a persistent identifier – which we knew was a stretch – or, what we thought was achievable now, an affiliation start date. Verifying that someone has ever worked at institution X is significantly harder than verifying that they worked at X during a particular time period.
However, thanks to your feedback on our new API release candidate, we now know that, for many in our community, this bar is currently too high. So, by popular request, we are temporarily rolling back the start date/identifier requirement for affiliations in API 3.0. We will be taking time over the next 6-9 months to work with the community to gain a better understanding of your workflows and information sources and to engage with partners to test approaches. If you are interested in working with us on this project, please contact me.
In the meantime, we will be:
Displaying “date created” for items on the ORCID record and in the API
Requiring organization IDs for the asserting organization and the affiliation itself
Ensuring that only those organizations that have a direct relationship with the affiliation may post it to the ORCID record. This means that Institution X may ONLY post affiliations pertaining to their institution. We will be managing this using organization IDs for the asserting organization and the affiliation being posted
Encouraging (but not requiring) the use of start dates in affiliation assertions
Encouraging pilot integrations that test use of identifiers for the affiliation
Encouraging inclusion of a local webpage URL (such as a faculty or staff profile) in the affiliation assertion, preferably in an archived format (see e.g., https://www.webcitation.org)
Our Engagement team will be responsible for working with members to ensure these guidelines are communicated, and also adhered to in our Collect & Connect badging processes.
We look forward to working with our community to improve transparency and trust in affiliation assertions. Please contact us if you have questions or suggestions.
Related ORCID posts
Assertion Assurance Pathways: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?
Building a Robust Research Infrastructure, One PID at a Time
New Feature Alert: Upgraded Affiliation Types
1ORCID API Versioning
Research Resources Now Live -- Join the Pilot!
Earlier this year we announced a new data model to acknowledge research resource use on ORCID records. Now with the launch of the first release candidate of our upcoming API 3.0, we introduce a new section to the ORCID record: research resources.
Research resources are specialist resources used for research purposes, and can include anything from research facilities housing specialized equipment (laboratories, observatories, ships, etc.) to digital repositories; and from museums and galleries to field stations that house physical collections. Identifying which resources were used to create research findings improves research rigor and reporting, and increases transparency.
Like peer review activity, resource use can only be added to an ORCID record by a trusted organization (ORCID member organization), following collection of a researcher’s ORCID iD in a formal resource proposal or request process. And like the peer review section, the research resource section will not appear in an ORCID record until a resource connection has been made and added. Organizations that provide resources are invited to join our pilot project to integrate ORCID iDs and other persistent identifiers into resource proposal and award processes. Find out how below.
Recognizing resource use on ORCID records
Connecting information to your ORCID record starts with verifying your ORCID iD. In most cases, a resource provider requests that you verify your ORCID iD by signing into ORCID and granting them permission to update your ORCID record with information about your use of their resource. This typically occurs when you submit a request to use a resource or grant access credentials to a resource.
The resource provider uses this permission to connect information about your resource use to your ORCID record. Publicly recognizing the use of research resources in this way benefits you, the organizations you interact with that collect information from your ORCID record, and the resource provider themselves. Each resource item includes persistent identifiers: the organization ID for the resource host and the grant or project ID of the resource, which enable transparency and traceability. The resource provider (the trusted organization) is always listed as the source of the information.
Above is an example resource use recognition from Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a member of the resource pilot group.
Organizations: Join the research resource pilots
Our User Facilities and Publications Working Group defined two pilot projects: one for resource hosts to adopt ORCID iDs and other persistent identifiers into their resource proposal and award processes; and one for publishers to integrate award and resource identifiers into the publishing process. Connecting resources to ORCID records is a key part of the first pilot project.
We invite members of the ORCID community to test the research resources workflow as a part of our pilot group. Let us know your interest by completing our online form and our team will follow up.
We also invite the community to participate in the pilot project to integrate award and resource identifiers into the publishing process, so resource use can be recognized. Not certain which project is right for your organization? Get in touch with the ORCID Engagement Team to learn more.
For more information, please see:
The working group’s report
The research resource data model
ORCID for research resources webpages
Pilot project page describing the workflow for resource hosts
The presentation “Capturing use of research facilities with PIDs” presented by Erin Arndt (Wiley), Laure Haak (ORCID), Crystal Schrof (Oak Ridge National Lab), and Susan White-DePace (Argonne National Lab/Society for Science at User Research Facilities) at PIDapalooza 2018
ORCID Austria Workshop: Report and Next Steps
Earlier this year, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) hosted the ORCID Austria workshop in Vienna in cooperation with ORCID and “e-infrastructures Austria Plus”. About 60 participants from 25 Austrian institutions learned about the advantages of ORCID membership and the integration of ORCID iDs into university repositories, CRIS, and personnel systems.
In addition to presentations by ORCID staff, the workshop also included experiences and solutions of other countries and institutions. The presentations from Swiss and German ORCID members provided new perspectives about ORCID integration for institutions, and also rationale for establishing a national consortium. A presentation by Ulrike Krießmann from the Graz University of Technology demonstrated how they collected ORCID iDs from their researchers using their CRIS system. Since many Austrian research institutions are interested in integrating ORCID into their systems as a service for their researchers, the TU Graz example was very important.
Christian Gutknecht of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), talked about the Swiss experience with ORCID. In 2014, the University of Bern became the first research organization in Switzerland to join ORCID as an organizational member. They were soon followed by a number of other organizations, and there ensued in 2015 a discussion about establishing a Swiss national ORCID consortium. This did not come to pass, as the question of which institution should act as the consortium lead organization was not resolved. Currently, thirteen Swiss institutions – including seven research organizations, two funders and four publishers – are ORCID members.
Gutknecht also presented an update on the ORCID Funder Working Group and the ORBIT project (ORCID Reducing Burden and Improving Transparency), which aims to use persistent identifiers to improve the exchange of information between and within the different funder systems and databases. He noted that, in line with ORCID best practices, the SNSF requests ORCID iDs from their grant applicants. The Austrian national funder FWF (Austrian Science Fund) goes farther and has required ORCID iDs since 2016.
During the roundtable session, meeting participants discussed the possibility of creating an Austrian ORCID consortium and the coordination of such an infrastructure in Austria. The presentation on the German consortium ORCID-DE by Paul Vierkant offered helpful insights and advice. ORCID-DE has obtained funding from DFG for the period 2016-2019 to support this initiative. In addition to setting up a national contact point, and the BASE integration with ORCID, one of the other goals of the ORCID-DE consortium is to integrate ORCID with the GND (Gemeinsame Norm Datei), the international authority file of names managed by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Vierkant also described the legal opinion commissioned by ORCID-DE to analyse ORCID from a data protection aspect. ORCID-DE had 41 members in May 2018, with numerous other institutions interested in joining.
New ORCID members in Austria and next steps
The workshop has been an important starting step for connecting stakeholders in the Austrian research community and establishing ORCID as the identifier for researchers. Subsequently, the University of Vienna and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) have joined ORCID as institutional members. Both universities plan to soon integrate ORCID into their CRIS systems so that their researchers can connect their iDs. There are now four Austrian ORCID members -- three universities and the FWF. A minimum of five are needed for a national consortium.
In June "e-infrastructures Austria Plus" sent out a questionnaire to all workshop attendees from Austrian institutions about their interest in joining a national ORCID consortium. So far, six institutions have expressed their interest in joining and many more have expressed a general interest in ORCID. “e-infrastructures Austria Plus” will continue to help coordinate the Austrian research institutions and support the formation of an ORCID consortium. A top priority is to identify a consortium lead organization.
We’ll keep you updated on progress!
Anna-Laetitia Hikl is a CRIS Manager at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences - BOKU.
Celebrating Open Access Week with the 2018 Public Data File
Happy birthday to us! ORCID turned six this October. To celebrate our birthday and Open Access Week, we are releasing our 2018 Public Data File.
Releasing the annual public data file is a key ORCID principle. The file is a snapshot of all ORCID record data that researchers have marked public, in the ORCID Registry at the time that the file was created on October 1, 2018 -- information that our users have set to be visible to everyone. We publish this file once per year under a CC0 waiver.
Get the file
Our 2018 Public Data File can be downloaded from the ORCID repository. This year the file is available in v2.0 of the ORCID API message schema, the default since August 2018. API v2.0 supports quick views of ORCID records using summaries, displaying limited metadata in the activities section (affiliations, funding, works, and peer reviews). To provide all public Registry data, we have included a second file with all public data from each activity section of users’ ORCID records.
Previous files are available at our public data file page. See also our related support documentation.
Use our conversion library for JSON records
Unlike previous data files, the 2018 data file is available only in XML format rather than both XML and JSON. If you prefer JSON, we recommend using our ORCID Conversion Library available in our Github repository.
The converter is a single downloadable Java application and can generate JSON from XML in the default version ORCID message schema format (v2.0 and v2.1). Currently the converter can process only full record XML or the ORCID public data file. The converter is a new project, and we’re always looking for ways to improve it -- let us know your feedback!
Let us know how you’re using file
What can you do with the public data file? Your imagination is the limit! Some recent examples: John Bohannon used data from the public data file to track researchers’ global migration in his study “Restless minds” published in Science (May 2017, Vol. 356, Issue 6339), which was awarded the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's 2018 Communication Award for newspapers and magazines. The Digital Research Yearbook created an “ORCID indicator” based on affiliation data in the public data file; the indicator is the proportion of researchers at an institution who have registered for an ORCID iD and connected it to their institution.
Inviting Your Feedback: Draft Recommendation for ORCID in Repositories
A few months ago, we announced the launch of the ORCID in repositories task force. This group, chaired by Michele Mennielli, International Membership and Partnership Manager at DuraSpace, was charged with reviewing and providing feedback on proposed recommendations for supporting ORCID in repository systems. In an unprecedented show of interest, we received over 40 applications from individuals interested in joining the task force.
Gathering input from across the repository community is a key priority for this project. However, due to constraints of time, space, and telecommunications, the size of the task force had to be limited. With diversity a primary driver, 15 members were selected, representing 12 countries (on 6 continents!) and a variety of organization types. Now, after several months of scrutinizing documents and meeting across far-flung timezones, the task force is releasing its Draft recommendation: Supporting ORCID in repository systems for public review and comment.
The recommendation is open for comment through November 15, 2018. You may comment directly in the draft. We invite you to share the document widely with your peers and colleagues who have an interest in the use of ORCID in repositories. You may send us your comments by email to email@example.com if you’d prefer to remain anonymous on the public document. After the comment period, the task force will review the feedback and incorporate it into its final recommendation.
Our goal is to publish the final version of the document in December 2018, after which we will launch work to incorporate the recommendations into our existing workflow documentation for repositories. In parallel, we look forward to working with the repository community to adopt the recommendations, including informing the work of Projects Governance of open source platforms supported by DuraSpace.
Thank you in advance for your feedback!