ORCID is short for Open Researcher and Contributor ID.  It gives researchers and authors a single unique ID which works across the research landscape.

Through ORCID, researchers can allow funders, publishers and research organisations to access the information in their ORCID profile during grant and manuscript submission. In the future, we’ll be able to automatically capture research-related information linked to individuals, to simplify and speed up grant application and reporting processes.

The Dunhill Medical Trust now requires all applicants for Research Project Grants to provide an ORCID iD when completing an application form in its Grants Management Portal. Applicants who don’t have an ORCID iD can register for one.

We recognise that ORCID can greatly help reduce administrative work in grant applications and research activity reporting and we anticipate a range of broader benefits for researchers: for example, connecting research-related information to support career tracking. It can also help to identify peer reviewers and potential collaborators.  Rather than inputting your employment record, publication and funding record every time you apply for a grant, you need only keep your ORCID profile up to date. ORCID member organisations will link to this and in most cases, be able to auto-populate these fields in their application forms, as long as you have given them permission to do so, as a trusted organisation and made your profile public.

ORCID provides 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.

  • Your ORCID ID belongs to you and stays with you throughout your career.
  • It helps ensure that all your research outputs and activities are correctly attributed to you.
  • It makes it easier share information about your research outputs and activities between systems and services, increasing accuracy and reducing the need to enter the same information multiple times.
  • It is speedily becoming an international standard – in use by publishers, research funders, and universities across the world.
  • It’s not just us !  It’s mandated by many respected funders (including NIHR) and, while it has not been mandated for Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, HEFCE has put the sector on notice (REF2017/04) that it plans to require ORCID as a staff identifier in future exercises and strongly encourages an ORCID to be provided for all ‘Category A submitted’ staff in REF 2021.
  • It’s an open to all, non-profit and non-proprietary service maintained for the benefit of researchers in all disciplines and at all career stages.

Register for ORCID


Why do I need an ORCID iD?

It is important to establish a unique professional identity throughout your academic and research career.

Your name  isn’t enough to reliably distinguish you and ensure that you get the credit for your work. This is especially the case when information about you and your research is shared electronically between systems.

Using an ORCID iD ensures that your publications and other research activities are correctly linked to you.

It promotes discoverability of your research activities and makes sure you get the credit for the work you do.

It makes it easier share information about your research outputs and activities between systems and services, increasing accuracy and reducing the need to enter the same information multiple times.

The more individuals, institutions, and services that adopt ORCID, the more effective it will become. The list of member organisations shows how this is becoming the standard.

How secure is my data on ORCID?

Information kept by ORCID is protected by their privacy policy, which is designed to comply with US ‘Safe Harbor’ principles. The ORCID web services are also TRUSTe certified.

ORCID offer a range of privacy settings for you to choose from that can be applied to different parts of your record. These can be set within your account settings. Information set as ‘private’ is not shared with any third parties, unless you specifically delegate access.

Information about ORCID’s commitment to information security is contained in their privacy policy.

Further information about how ORCID ensure the security of your data is available on their support pages.

How does ORCID work with other identifiers for research?

ORCID is independent from any publisher, unlike – for example – the Scopus Author Identifieror the Thomson Reuters (Web of Science) ResearcherID.

However, an increasing number of publishers are working with ORCID to synchronise different identifier systems.

In Scopus:

  • The Author search includes an option to search by ORCID iD.
  • The Author profile displays the ORCID iD where present.
  • For ORCID iD holders with a Scopus Author Identifer, the Scopus Author Feedback wizardenables you to import your Identifier into your ORCID profile, along with your list of publications from Scopus.

In Web of Science:

  • Search by ORCID iD using the Author Identifiers field.
  • Author Information includes the ORCID iD where present.
  • Authors can associate their ORCID iD with their Thomson Reuters Researcher ID, to exchange profile data in either direction.

The ISO’s International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) works in a similar way to ORCID, but they are designed to serve different communities and different needs.

ISNI operates across various media and is primarily designed to ensure the smooth allocation of royalties.

ORCID, on the other hand, is designed specifically for researchers, and uses richer metadata specific to scholarly communication.

ORCID and ISNI have agreed a system of interoperability between the two identifiers and are working on full integration.

Is this just another online profile system?

The unique benefit of ORCID is that it provides a universal, non-proprietary identification number. This can be used across systems to tie together the various places in which your online profile exists – universities, publishers, research funders, social media, or any other organisations.

Some people find it useful to add information about themselves and their research activities, but you can get the benefits of having an ORCID iD while entering only minimal information to your profile.

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