A search on Yong Wang in Google Scholar finds Y Wang, YJ Wang, YX Wang, Yong Wang, Yong-Xu Wang, and Zhi-Yong Wang, all on the first screen of search results. John Smith gets JA, JK, JM, JMA, JP III, JS, and WJ Smith in the first three screens, Even a relatively unusual name like C Van Dyck finds CH van Dyck, CH Van Dyck, L van Dyck, C Van Dyke, and PC van Dyck on the first screen of results.
Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID) is essentially “a DOI for authors” (CrossRef is participating strongly in ORCID) a global system that provides a unique and persistent identifier for authors and other contributors to scholarly communications, including metadata for disambiguation of names. Universities, funding agencies, publishers, peer review systems, and others are expected to adopt ORCID and integrate it into their systems. This will improve the infrastructure of global scholarly communications, by enabling more functional and efficient information exchange among multiple parties and systems. ORCID will also improve the accuracy of attribution for scholarly contributions, which is very much in the interests of researchers. Disambiguation is a non-trivial technical challenge. ORCID’s initial rollout will have limited disambiguation capabilities, but these will become stronger during the first two years.
ORCID development has continued in 2012, with a commercial launch now planned for January 2013. See the ORCID blog for recent and ongoing announcements, including:
- ORCID’s first two employees have now joined the organization. Laure Haak started in April as the Executive Director. Dr. Haak has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Stanford, and joins ORCID from Discovery Logic where she was Chief Science Officer. She previously worked as a researcher at the NIH and as a science policy analyst and writer at AAAS and the US National Academies. Laura Paglione joined ORCID in June as Chief Technology Officer; previously she was VP of Operations at Management Leadership for Tomorrow. Laura has Masters Degrees from MIT and Brown, and has also worked in technology director roles at the Kaufmann Foundation and Ford Motors.
- In late May, the ORCID Board approved its sustainable business model, and in early June ORCID announced its membership program and fees. The plan calls for hundreds (and, later, thousands) of universities, funders, publishers, and others to pay annual membership fees, and to receive scholar identification services from ORCID. The membership agreement will be finalized this summer, and then organizations should begin signing up for 2013. The fees are scaled according to for-profit vs. not-for-profit and size of the organization. For the business model to succeed, ORCID needs to achieve traction in the scholarly communications world. Perhaps the most important constituency is universities, where so many authors work. ORCID commissioned a market study of universities by Ithaka S+R, which concluded that the business model is acceptable, but that ORCID still needs to do a lot of marketing to raise awareness in universities.
- ORCID’s APIs are available for organizations’ technical teams to begin working on integration.
- The ORCID registry is due to go live in October 2012. Privacy and authority policies are among the thornier issues that ORCID is working to sort out: what data about individuals can be shared; and who has authority to own and edit records in the system. The individual him/herself will have ultimate authority of ownership, but may choose to delegate some rights to their organization.
- ORCID has filed for 501(c)(3) status in the US as a charitable organization, and expects to receive confirmation this fall. The organization has already received grants and loans totaling $2 million as start-up funding. Grants have come from the Mellon Foundation, the US National Science Foundation, and others. Publishers have provided $1.3 million of loans. Further grants will be sought, once the 501(c)(3) status is confirmed.
ORCID continues to be led by a cross-community Board that includes representatives from universities (e.g. MIT, Cornell, Harvard, Hannover), research organizations (CERN, NII), funders (Wellcome), societies (ACM), and publishers (Wiley, Nature, Elsevier, Thomson Reuters).
There is an interesting article about ORCID in Nature published May 30 http://www.nature.com/news/scientists-your-number-is-up-1.10740