Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Reflecting on the users and use case

As we move towards full implementation, now seems a suitable time to reflect on our project to date. This is the first of a series of blog posts which look back at our initial aims and what we have achieved this far.

Underlying principles

The guiding principle of ORCID iD implementation at York is the benefit that it brings to researchers; an ORCID iD is owned by the researcher and not by any one institution. This sense of researcher ownership and the use of ORCID iDs to benefit researchers rather than regulate them is seen as vital to successful implementation in a University such as York. The University should then subsequently benefit from the correct attribution of research outputs and the potential for sharing of information between systems.

Benefits to researchers

The key benefits of ORCID iDs to researchers are seen as those articulated by ORCID itself and based on the iD as a solution to the name ambiguity problem and the need for accurate assignment of research outputs. It is anticipated that these benefits will grow through time as ORCID iDs become more widely adopted by other institutions, publishers and research funders. These themes were used in the project as the core advocacy messages. ORCID iD registration for research staff is made available via the University’s CRIS (Pure); the system used by research staff to record their research outputs.

Institutional policy

This emphasis on individual registration is backed by institutional policy. This takes the form of a section of the University’s Policy on the Publication of Research which was approved during the course of the project. The section of the Policy relating to the Preparation publications refers to the use of a standard author identifier when submitting author details for a publication, where this option is given by the publisher. The guidance provided with the Policy endorses the use of ORCID iDs for this purpose.

Benefits to the institution

The combination of researcher sign-up, institutional policy and the technical infrastructure provided by Pure, is anticipated to deliver benefits to the University. The correct attribution of research outputs to University of York researchers is essential in terms of tracking research outputs, reporting to funders and benchmarking against other institutions. These reporting requirements are likely to continue to increase in the foreseeable future.

Benefits moving forward

It is anticipated that the benefits of ORCID iD implementation will grow over time. It is hoped that ORCID iDs will save administrative time for researchers and support staff by ensuring correct and accurate transfer of information between systems. ORCID iDs have the potential to be a key element in the future interoperability of research systems, both internal and external. These future benefits are dependent, however, on the wider uptake of ORCID iDs in the UK and internationally, and on their adoption by key players such as research councils.

Lessons learnt

The original project use case as described above is focused on academic and research staff with Pure profiles. The separate Important lessons learnt
blog post (coming soon) will include information on how we are looking to develop use cases and workflows for postgraduate research students and for staff without Pure profiles.

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