Most of you may be familiar with ORCID. ORCID (Open Research and Contributor Identifier) is a non-profit, community-based initiative aimed at creating unique identifiers for researchers across organizations, disciplines, and geographies. Researchers are encouraged to register for ORCID as its unique 16-digit numeric identifier is linked to their research work and achievements, ensuring that they get credit for their work.
To understand researchers’ awareness and perceptions of ORCID, a survey was conducted by ORCID which ran from August 2015 to September 2015. The results of the survey were published in a report called ORCID Survey 2015. The survey was taken by 6000 individuals, of which 62% were researchers. Most of the respondents were based in Western Europe, North America, and Asia; and were mainly associated with a university, government, or non-profit research organization.
Some of the key findings of the survey are as goes after:
• Awareness about ORCID: Only 9% of the respondents were unaware of ORCID iDs. There was high awareness that ORCID is free for researchers (75%) and that it is a not-for-profit (63%). However, there was low awareness (34%) of the annual public data file and the fresh peer review service. About 70% of respondents confirmed that they have an ORCID iD.
• Reasons for ORCID registration: 60% of ORCID iD holders believed that “persistent identifiers are a way of helping the internet work better for research,” which was the top reason for registering personally. The other major reasons respondents gave for registering for ORCID were: ORCID iDs are free to researchers (80%); lightly connect their research output (80%); make it lighter for people to find and share their work (80%); and are a unique identifier for a researcher’s entire career (78%).
• Channels of information about ORCID: According to the survey, respondents are most likely to have heard about ORCID through colleague recommendation (31%) or their publisher (29%); 43% recall being prompted to provide their iD when they submitted their most latest manuscript.
• Usage of ORCID by holders: They are most likely to use their ORCID iD when submitting manuscripts for publication (55.7%), at their university (25.8%), and when applying for grants (13%). 26% do not presently use their ORCID iD at all
• Connecting ORCID with publications: Respondents in all disciplines expect to be able to connect their publications to their ORCID record – especially journal articles (92%), books (73%), and book chapters (66%). There are differences by discipline in terms of connecting other research contributions; for example, researchers belonging to life sciences want to connect data sets while those belonging to humanities want to connect presentations.
• Attributes researchers associate with ORCID: Top attributes associated with ORCID are “open,” “new,” “approachable,” “efficient,” and “easy to work with.” ORCID is least likely to be seen as unnecessary, hard to work with, a no-brainer, awkward, and complicated. Non-record holders were significantly more likely to view ORCID as unnecessary or unknown.
• Views about ORCID mandates: There is significant support for ORCID mandates: 72% of all respondents agreed or strongly agreed that these would benefit the global research community, 21% were neutral, and only 7% disagreed or strongly disagreed. Similarly, inbetween two thirds and three quarters would find it useful if their publisher (75%), institution (67%), funder (67%), or professional society (64%) mandated ORCID iDs.
The report provides significant insights into the level of awareness in academia about ORCID. The Director of Communications for ORCID, Alice Meadows, hopes to contact some of the survey respondents for future ORCID market research to deepen their understanding of ORCID’s presence in academia.