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Researcher Identifiers at the University of Michigan

The library is a partner in piloting an author identification system known as ORCID (pronounced “orkid”). ORCID is part of a global effort including major academic publishers and funding agencies to better connect researchers to their research output and to each other. In partnership with administrative units across campus, the library is developing a process to assign ORCIDs to faculty. 

Researchers need to distinguish themselves from others with the same or similar names -- a researcher’s name often isn’t enough to reliably identify the author of, or contributor to, an article published in a journal or a dataset uploaded to a repository. Further questions about ORCID? Send them to the email listed above.

What is ORCID?

ORCID stands for Open Researcher and Contributor ID. The ORCID initiative focuses on solving the name ambiguity problem by creating persistent unique identifiers and linking mechanisms between different ID schemes and research objects. Learn more about ORCID from our research guide.

How can I get an ORCID identifier?

You can set up an ORCID yourself using the form on the ORCID website. Or, since the U-M library is working with ORCID staff to create iDs for U-M researchers, you can wait until we have ORCID staff assign one to you.

What if I already have an ORCID identifier?

If you have already created an ORCID using your U-M email address, you will not get a second ORCID via the library; you’re all set. If you created an ORCID using a different email address, update your record at orcid.org to add your @umich email. 

Who manages my profile?

The University of Michigan Library plans to ORCID numbers to U-M faculty in the near future. You will be automatically notified when your number is assigned to you and you then have the choice to manually add information to your ORCID profile. For more information, see question: Will my ORCID profile (at orcid.org) populate automatically with my research output? 

When will I use the ORCID identifier?

When applying for a grant or submitting an article for publication. You can also add it to your web profile, your CV, or any other place you list your research.

Will an ORCID identifier be assigned to me?

The library is working with orcid.org to create IDs for all U-M faculty and researchers. ORCIDs will be assigned in phases by School or Department in 2013-2014. The program will begin with the library. Eventually all U-M research units will participate. 

Will my ORCID profile (at orcid.org) populate automatically with my research output?

Initially, you can populate your profile with articles in Scopus, Europe PubMed Central, CrossRef Metadata Search, and works already associated with an Thomson Reuters’ ResearcherID. Select from these options under “For Researchers > My ORCID Record” in the “Works” area. Click on “Import Works” to get started. Only articles with a DOI will appear automatically. Other research aggregators such as ProQuest also plan to work with ORCID in the near future.

Can I add articles to make my record complete?

Yes. Your publication list at will grow automatically as more publishers come on board, but you may add to your profile immediately if you wish. Identifying your work with an ORCID may help to make it more visible on the web.

Is ORCID just for articles?

Right now an orcid.org profile will only populate automatically with texts, but ORCID can be used for any kind of work, including fine arts and social sciences. 

Will Deep Blue include ORCID identifiers?

Yes, Deep Blue has already begun to add ORCIDs to its records. If you send a list of items that should include an ORCID to deepblue@umich.edu, we can update those records.

What kind of information does ORCID have about me?

Per the orcid.org website, “ORCID records hold non-sensitive information such as name, email, organization and research activities. ORCID understands the fundamental need for individuals to control how their data are shared, and provides tools to manage data privacy. We take steps to protect your information, consistent with the principles set forth in our Privacy Policy, which are intended to comply with the Safe Harbor Principles issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce.”      

For each research entry you can choose among three levels of security: public (anyone can see the entry); limited (you choose who can see the entry); private (entry can be seen only by you.)  When the ORCID account is first created, the default security level is public.

Can someone else to claim my research, or can I claim research done by someone else?

Yes. Having an ORCID cannot prevent these problems, but it can make them easier to detect, since, unlike names, your ORCID is unique to you. ORCID is simply a registry of scholarship.  You can clean up your profile by identifying your own research and deleting any entries that are not your work.

Do ORCID profiles support citations in non-Latin scripts?

Yes, non-Latin script character sets with Unicode encoding are supported for display and search of ORCID profiles and the ORCID registry. Such citations may be added to your profile manually, or imported (if the exporting database supports these characters).

What if I leave the University of Michigan?

Your ORCID goes with you. It is not tied to a particular institution.

I just don’t want an ORCID identifier. Can I opt out?

Yes, you can simply delete your ORCID. We don’t recommend this, since we foresee a time when ORCIDs will be required for grant applications and by publishers. And an unused ORCID is not a problem, so we suggest keeping it until you need it.

Page maintained by Alix Keener
Last modified: 10/07/2014