Planning Guide for Research Institutions
ORCID adoption heralds a paradigm shift from repetitive, isolated workflows, to harnessing the full benefits of interoperability and digital technology in the research and scholarly communication ecosystem. Effective ORCID adoption requires three equally important components:
- Stakeholder support – partnering with internal stakeholders to make decisions about how to get the most value from ORCID
- Technical integration – configuring institutional system(s) to connect with the ORCID registry via the ORCID API (application programming interface)
- Outreach and education – encouraging individual researchers at your institution to register for an ORCID iD and use it whenever possible
This brief guide outlines considerations and suggestions for how to make the most of ORCID membership across your organization. Additional ORCID member resources and examples are available at https://members.orcid.org/resources and on the ORCID US Community Resources page.
Use the ORCID US Community Planning Worksheet to keep notes as you start to plan.
Step 1: Stakeholder Support
Build a business case
To get the most value from your ORCID integration(s), you'll likely need support from key stakeholders across your institution with an understanding of the ORCID benefits for a research institution, including the ability to:
- Reduce administrative burden via automated, interoperable workflows (enter once, re- use often)
- Assess and measure impact by maintaining connections with affiliated researchers' activities (even after they leave the institution)
- Control appearance of institution name and assert trustworthy affiliations onto individuals’ ORCID records
- Help your affiliated researchers manage name disambiguation, keep track of their contributions and affiliations, and save time
- ORCID records can contain information about your researchers’ education, employment, funding, works and other contributions. How might your institution benefit from gathering and asserting this kind of data and activities?
- What efficiencies or cost savings could be gained?
- How will you assess the impact of your integration(s)?
Strategic ORCID integrations often require planning with multiple stakeholders, and the best approach will vary based on your local context. Two general patterns have emerged for strategic ORCID planning: 1) forming a cross-institutional ORCID group to plan for comprehensive, organization-wide adoption, and 2) forming a library-centric ORCID group to spearhead ORCID integration in library systems that can then be used to demonstrate the value of ORCID to other organizational stakeholders. Common stakeholders at a research institution include:
Integrate an institutional repository or data management system with ORCID to track and more easily manage submissions
Assess program impact and student activities after graduation by connecting with ORCID
Configure a Current Research Information System (CRIS) to use ORCID data for faculty evaluations, promotion, and tenure
Utilize ORCID to streamline the grant management process
Leverage ORCID in multiple campus systems to streamline information flow and system maintenance
Connect campus ID management system with ORCID for more robust personnel tracking and assessmen
- Do stakeholders know about ORCID?
- Do stakeholders know what benefits ORCID can provide for their department/unit and institution as a whole?
- Do stakeholders understand the benefits of ORCID for individual researchers?
- Are there specific academic departments that should be included in planning and outreach?
For additional ideas, see our blog on partnering with internal stakeholders to adopt ORCID.
Step 2: Technical Integration
Determine which systems to integrate with ORCID
Depending on your goals, one or more systems will need to be configured to work with ORCID via the ORCID API. Use the ORCID API Basics & Benefits webinar recording to learn more.
- Are you using a third-party system already capable of integrating with ORCID?
- You may already be using a system that supports ORCID. See our list of common systems for ORCID integration for more information.
- Are you planning to design your own custom integration with a local system?
- Each custom integration will require a specialized approach. Visit our custom integration guide to learn more.
- If your vendor systems do not support ORCID yet, and you do not have the resources to do a custom ORCID integration, consider using the ORCID Affiliation Manager tool to enable adding affiliations to your researchers’ ORCID records.
- How many different systems do you want to integrate with ORCID, and how will various systems interact? (ORCID US Community members get 5 API credentials)
- What do you want to be able to do/achieve with your integration?
- Do you want to read data from ORCID records, write data to ORCID records, or both?
- What ORCID information would be useful to each stakeholder group and/or useful to all stakeholders?
- What reports would be helpful for each stakeholder group?
- How would information flow between systems?
- What resources can be drawn upon from across different stakeholder groups?
- Who will work on the integration(s) and when will the work take place?
- Where/how will you store secure data retrieved from ORCID records?
- Where/how will you store information to be written to ORCID records?
- What client name will you use for each integration?
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a consultation and discuss options for meeting ORCID requirements with your custom integration.
Configure systems to work with ORCID API
Implementation efforts will vary across organizations based on the resources available. ORCID integrations begin in a sandbox environment before moving to production. Whether you are developing your own software systems or integrating with vendor systems, make sure to follow the guidelines of ORCID's best practices: https://members.orcid.org/api/member-api-credentials-check-list. At the most basic level, your software should be able to:
- Use OAuth 2.0 to authenticate a researcher's ORCID iD
- Store ORCID data securely
- Create a consistent user experience by displaying the green ORCID iD icon
- Communicate why your institution collects authenticated iDs and how this benefits your researchers
- Custom integration guide: https://orcidus.lyrasis.org/technical-integration-guide/
- Process for getting started with an integration: https://members.orcid.org/api/getting-started
- Workflows, based on type of system: https://members.orcid.org/api/workflow/
- Presenting OAuth: https://members.orcid.org/api/oauth/presenting-oauth
- API tutorials: https://members.orcid.org/api/tutorial
Additional information about the ORCID API: https://members.orcid.org/api
Step 3: Outreach
To ensure that all stakeholders reap the full benefits of ORCID, individual researchers must register and use their ORCID iDs. Researchers must go through an authentication process to grant permission for institutional systems to connect with their iD record. Spreading the word about ORCID to researchers requires ongoing outreach, education, and training. Outreach to individuals can take place before, during, and after the technical integration process, to:
- Raise awareness about ORCID's benefits (building anticipation)
- Encourage researchers to create their ORCID iD and authorize permission for your system(s) to connect (promoting action), and
- Promote ongoing recognition and use of ORCID (spreading awareness)
- ORCID for Researchers
- ORCID Outreach Resources
- ORCID US Community Outreach Planning Guide
- “Value of ORCID for Individuals” one-pager
- ORCID 101 for Individuals
- Who is your target audience for the initial rollout? Common initial audiences include faculty and/or students from a specific department, or new faculty/students. Including an introduction to ORCID at new employee and/or new student orientation is a good idea.
- Who will be leading and conducting the outreach efforts?
- What outreach materials and format(s) might best reach your audience?
- Who will answer researchers’ questions about ORCID at your institution?
As you make progress working with internal stakeholders, integrating the ORCID API into your local systems, and educating researchers about how they can use their ORCID iD and ORCID record, you may want to track your progress and assess growth in ORCID adoption at your organization. To help with this, members of the ORCID US Community consortium have access to an ORCID Member Portal, an administrative dashboard that can provide insight into ORCID adoption across your organization. The Member Portal contains three types of reports:
- Member Report - shows the number of ORCID iDs that have been connected to all of the ORCID member API integrations that are being used at an organization. You will see zeros in this report until you start using your member API keys. Once you start using the ORCID member API and researchers start connecting their ORCID iDs with your integration(s), statistics will appear. Towards the bottom of the report, you will also see how many ORCID iDs are associated with your organization’s email domain.
- Integration Report - shows the number of ORCID iDs that have been connected to a single ORCID member API integration. You will see nothing here until you start using your API keys. Once you are using at least one of your ORCID member API keys and researchers start connecting their ORCID iDs with your API integration, statistics will appear specific to the single integration.
- Affiliation Report - shows lists of individuals who have your organization listed publicly as either a past or current affiliation on their ORCID record. Affiliations in ORCID include employment, education, qualifications, invited positions, distinctions, membership, and service. Report results are based on the presence of one or more organization identifiers (such as ROR, Ringgold, or GRID) publicly visible on the individuals’ ORCID records. This report can help you to get a basic idea of current ORCID adoption at your organization.
ORCID US Community staff can also help by running a search of the ORCID registry using R to find all current employees and/or students who have ORCID iDs at your organization. Search results are based on the presence of your organization name, organization identifiers, and/or email domain publicly visible on individuals’ ORCID records, as well as no end date on the affiliation. These search results may not be 100% accurate, since there are likely more people with ORCID iDs at your organization who may not have your organization listed publicly as their current affiliation. There may also be people in the search results who are no longer at your organization but have forgotten to update the end date on their affiliation. So, search results are to be used for planning and assessment only, to help you get a general idea of ORCID adoption levels at your organization. For more information on searching for ORCID holders or running these searches yourself, see our blog on Finding ORCID Holders at your Institution.
As you work through the steps of ORCID adoption, stay tuned to the ORCID US listserv, and keep in touch with the ORCID US Community through the ORCID US members discussion forum. If you need any assistance along the way, or to join the members discussion forum, send an email to email@example.com.
This document was inspired by the work of the Australian Access Federation and the Royal Society Te Apārangi, and shaped by ideas and feedback from staff at the University of Oregon Libraries, Stanford University, Georgia Tech Libraries, and Florida State University Libraries.
Have ideas on how to improve this document? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.