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Encourage the researchers you work with to register for an ORCID

Is Dr. John Smith at your institution having a hard time distinguishing his publications from all the other John Smiths out there? Or, conversely, is a student looking for publications by a certain author having a hard time separating out the papers of Dr. John Smith the chemist from Dr. John Smith the biochemist?

If so, you should encourage research authors you work with to register for an ORCID: Open Researcher and Contributor ID. An ORCID is, first and foremost, a number that specifically identifies a person–much the way a DOI identifies a document or paper–and also allows the owner to customize a profile online with additional information about themselves, including other publications, research interests, and contact information. They can even tie together multiple other professional profiles they may have–website, LinkedIn profile, etc.

ORCID is run by a consortium of publishers, universities, and government agencies. It is free to use and has terrific potential for use in databases, Google Scholar searches, professional CVs, and grant submissions.

Elsevier’s Library Connect e-newsletter has a story on ORCID here, featuring an interview with librarians (including the University of Syracuse’s Linda Galloway) who have been proponents of ORCID: http://libraryconnect.elsevier.com/articles/best-practices/2013-01/feeding-orcid-libraries-encourage-researchers-register-new.

You can also go right to the ORCID site: http://about.orcid.org/

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