The Flowering of ORCiD: One ID to manage your scientific research across disciplines

Photo by Susan Cato

If you recognize what the following string of 16 digits represents, you are welcome to stop reading: 0000-0002-4669-3215.

If not, here’s a question: Wouldn’t it be cool if each scientist’s contributions to scholarship across all disciplines could be discovered, cited, and curated quickly and easily?


That is exactly what the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCiD) is intended to achieve. ORCID, which has been issuing IDs for a little over a year, is an increasingly powerful validation registry for scientific authors. It is backed by some of the biggest names in information science and practice. These include CrossRef, the publisher/librarian/funder-supported outfit that brought us inter-journal reference linking well over a decade ago, and Thomson Reuters, home of the Impact Factor. For organizations like ASPB – both a publisher and a community-focused professional society – ORCiD is tremendously valuable.

From your perspective as a user/member/author, ORCiD affords the opportunity to ensure that your papers and presentations are tagged explicitly with a unique identifier that is yours only – a Digital Object Identifier for a scientist, if you will.

From ASPB’s perspective, we can use the same identifier to better connect your interactions across all organizational activities, as well as with your published content – whether as an author, a member, an annual meeting registrant, etc. These connections help us to better understand who you are, the breadth of activities you are involved in, where and what you have published, and the interests you have. This understanding will help us provide you with a better experience overall, by allowing us to support you with programs, content, and services based on your very individual needs.

To get started, we have built ORCiD fields into the manuscript submission systems for Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell, which will help us track and link your contributions to the literature. Moving forward, we plan to use ORCiDs to curate and aggregate your content from a variety of sources – and use it to personalize your online experience with us.

You can learn more about ORCiD on their website, and if you’re willing to take my word for it, I’d urge you to join the almost 400,000 other scholars who have already signed up. From my experience, it really does take as little as the advertised 30 seconds.

Now, I just have to get some papers and other materials connected to my profile on the ORCiD site…

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