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Connecting researchers and research

Until these days I’ve thought that ORCID is a misspelled flower. During the last few weeks I’ve however learnt what ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) in the science world means. It is a nonprofit organization devoted to “solve the name ambiguity problem in research and scholarly communications by creating an online, searchable database of unique identifiers for individual researchers and an open and transparent linking mechanism between ORCID and other current researcher ID schemes” (http://orcid.org/about/what-is-orcid/mission). Simplified said it is a researcher’s social security number. (Read more)

Researchers themselves have a capacity to maintain an accurate account of their productivity. One may be asking why an ORCID account is needed or what an ORCID account can do for them. I can say from my own experience that after several misunderstandings to be confused with place called Pitkäranta in the Republic of Karelia, Russia, I’m more than happy to welcome my unique identifier. I can only imagine how much confusions there exist with the names more common than mine. The ORCID ID system is also marvelous for all people who have to change their names for example, by divorce or marriage since their ID number would remain the same and it would be able to edit one’s personal information to reflect any name changes. And of course for the thousands Chinese researchers named Wang or Wong and all the stakeholders in needs to reach them.

Since the launch of the ORCID registry in 2012, an increasing number of stakeholders in the research process, including granting agencies, publishers, professional societies, research institute and universities and software companies, have integrated ORCID IDs into their workflows, suggesting that ORCID IDs will ultimately become the primary method by which an author’s identity is attached to their research outputs and activities. In Finland the Ministry of Education and Culture is promoting research identification by offering interested organizations centralized support for ORCID adoption through CSC (IT Center for Science administered by the Ministry of Education and Culture; csc.fi). In Sweden largest research funder, Vetenskaprådet, requires all funding applicants to have an ORCID identifier by 2016. Researchers in Academic Medical Center Helsinki (AMCH) can create their own ORCID IDs, all you need is your name and e-mail address to begin. If you are interested please visit http://terkko.helsinki.fi/orcidamch to get more information and connect you to your research. You are worth it!

Professor Anne Pitkäranta, HUS Research Director