You may recall a 2015 paper on the Higgs boson published in Physical Review Letters that boasted a record-breaking 5,154 authors. Twenty-three of those authors had the last name Wang, two each with the first initials C, F, H, and Q, and four with the first initial J.
What this example of “hyperauthorship” make clear is that there can be multiple researchers with similar, if not identical, names in the same field. That can make things difficult for researchers, funders, and publishers alike.
To help resolve this issue, a number of organizations have begun issuing unique identifiers researchers can use to distinguish themselves from others with the same or similar names, thereby protecting their scholarly identities.
One of the most popular of these organizations is ORCID. ORCID is a non-profit organization supported by research organizations, publishers, funders, and professional associations. Its iD is “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.”
Specifically related to grant submission, ORCID integrates with SciENcv to make creating NIH and NSF biosketches easier. In addition, NIH will soon begin requiring ORCID iDs for anyone supported by NIH research training, fellowship, research education, and career development awards.
Signing up for you own ORCID identifier is easy — registration takes 30 seconds. Once you’re registered you can add professional information to your ORCID record.
Written by Heather Beattey Johnston, Associate Director of Research Communications, Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship, Miami University.