Why do I need another ID?
The rise of the internet has meant that any individual now has multiple identities each unique to the web property that they frequent. Each identity comes with its own username and password and just tracking those details has become a job in itself. The other issues people face are cases of identities being stolen by hackers. When faced with another website requiring their details, most people avoid these requests and only choose those sites that do not require an ID or allow them to use their Google or Facebook profile.
Publishing, especially in the scholarly space, has exploded in recent years. Researchers and scientists from across the globe are in a fervent rush to publish and advance the research in their fields. What’s surprising is that with all the technological advancements we have made in the last century, we have lost all imagination in naming our children! We also find that people from Asian countries with complicated names opt for easier names for communication but invariably adopt similar names to their peers. There are so many John Smiths, James Chens and the like that John Doe is feeling embarrassed. This has resulted in quite a difficult problem where it’s hard to know which researcher is actually responsible for the discovery.
This might just be okay if the researcher stayed with the same institution their entire career as the combination would be unique. Researchers today eager to progress either switch institutions or work under the banner of multiple institutions as they seek out collaborations to accelerate the process. Another new development has been the rise of the collaboration superseding the author as the lead on an article. While this has meant an increase in meaningful research it has now become difficult to track a researcher’s body of work based on their name and affiliation alone.
Therefore, in the world of ID fatigue, there is a case in the scholarly world for an ID that uniquely identifies the researcher as well as being a definitive source for all their publications either as a primary contributor, collaborator or reviewer. ORCID has existed for a few years now and fulfils the need for a persistent digital identifier that “distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized”. ORCID is free to register and easy to use and has seen widespread adoption by almost all the publishers and the publishing community at large. Several publishers now strongly push for an ORCID during submission as it also ensures that only authorised people have access to the content before it is published. The time has come to register for your lifelong ID that will uniquely identify you and give you the recognition you deserve!