Tuesday, 15 December 2015

All about ORCID | The Scholarly Kitchen

 Source: http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2015/12/15/all-about-orcid/

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All about ORCID

1_5-million-servedKOver the past few weeks, we’ve been analyzing the results of our recent survey on perceptions and understanding of ORCID within the global scholarly community, and have just published our final report, together with the anonymized data.
We were delighted that so many people responded to the survey – close
to 6,000, of whom nearly two thirds (62%) completed it – and we are very
grateful for this expression of support from the community.

So, what did we learn? While most of the results broadly confirmed many of our expectations, there were also some surprises.

For example, we didn’t expect there would be such strong support for
mandating ORCID – a full 72% of respondents believe that ORCID mandates
would be good for the global research community, with 21% neutral, and
only 7% disagreeing or strongly disagreeing. When asked a simple yes or
no question about mandates by various types of organization, the
percentage supporting publisher mandates, specifically, is even higher
at 75%; support for mandates by funders and institutions (both 67%) and
scholarly societies (64%), though not as great, is still high. However,
there was significant variation in support for mandates between
respondents who have an ORCID iD (an average of 75% support) versus
those who don’t (52%), perhaps indicating that researchers are more
likely to see the value in widespread ORCID use once they have their own
iD. This may also explain the apparent lack of support for mandates by
physical scientists (59% compared with 72% across all other
disciplines); that group is largely represented by American Geophysical
Union members, more of whom haven’t yet registered for an iD (44%
compared with an average of 58% overall).

There are also different levels of support by region, and job
sector/title. Researchers in Africa (80-89% in favor of mandates for
different organization types), and Latin America (79-82%) are especially
supportive, while their counterparts in North America (52%) are much
less so). Similarly, librarians (89%) are most likely to favor mandates,
as are students (78% compared with 68% of respondents in other teaching
and learning roles). In fact, a number of institutions already require
researchers to use an ORCID iD in one or more systems; several funders have implemented or announced ORCID mandates in the last year or so; and last week, the Royal Society announced
that, from January 2016, it would be requiring ORCID iDs for its
authors. So, while we still have work to do in terms of winning hearts
and minds among some groups, there’s an unexpectedly high level of
support for ORCID mandates across the scholarly community overall.

Another pleasant surprise was that the top reason given by ORCID
record holders for getting their iD was “I want the Internet to work
better and persistent identifiers (PIDs) are the way to go.” Admittedly
this group may be more altruistic than some but, nevertheless, we are
delighted that so many respondents understand that persistent
identifiers, such as ORCID iDs, play a critical role in supporting the
research infrastructure. We will be working with other PID organizations
in the coming months to further raise awareness of this.

Less welcome was the revelation that, while 58% of all respondents
know they have an ORCID iD, 28% of iD holders are unfamiliar or “don’t
know about ORCID at all.” While we can speculate about the reasons for
this (researchers whose institution assigned ORCID iDs to them under our
old Batch Create process, rather than encouraging them to claim their
own iD; or who signed up for a particular purpose, such as submitting a
manuscript, and promptly forgot about it), the important learning point
for ORCID is that we must do a better job of engaging with our iD
holders. We need to ensure they understand not only why to get an iD but also why, how, and when
to use it. Having said that, there is high awareness of ORCID in
certain groups, for example, in the UK 76% of respondents are very or
somewhat aware of ORCID; in Australasia, 71%. This is likely a result of
strong national engagement and support through the Jisc (UK) and AAF
(Australia) consortia. (It would be interesting to see if the same is
true in Italy, where Cineca has a national agreement with ORCID, but we
don’t have data at country level in Europe outside of the UK.) Awareness
among librarians (89%) and publishers (77%) is also higher than average
– unsurprisingly, since their roles typically require good knowledge of
industry initiatives.

There were also some interesting findings by discipline, region, and
sector/job role. Some are less surprising – for example, it makes sense
that researchers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are more concerned
about misattribution of their work than many of their colleagues in
other regions. Name ambiguity is a huge problem in countries like Korea
(where half the population shares one of five last names) or Latin
American countries, where multiple family names are the norm. But we
hadn’t predicted that researchers in health and medical sciences would
share this concern. And while librarians’ high level of support for
ORCID mandates may reflect their understanding of the importance of a
strong research infrastructure, why are students also 10% more likely to
support mandates compared with others in teaching and learning roles?

These are just a few of the questions we’ll be grappling with in the
coming months as we work to both develop a better understanding of how
the scholarly community currently perceives and understands ORCID, and
to adjust our communications to address specific areas of confusion and
misunderstanding. Some of the apparent discrepancies may be a result of
disparities in sample sizes, such as an over-representation of physical
sciences (41% of respondents), largely as a result of  the AGU actively
promoting the survey to its members. In contrast, just 5% of respondents
work in the humanities. Similarly Western Europe (36%) and North
America (29%) are both over-represented in the results, while responses
from Africa, Australasia, Latin America, and the Middle East are all
broadly in line with the proportion of researchers working in each
region, and Asia and Eastern Europe are under-represented.

We plan to contact some of the 1,500+ respondents who are willing to
be contacted about future ORCID market research for a deeper dive into
some of the results in hopes of gaining additional insights. And, of
course, we welcome any other feedback from Scholarly Kitchen readers and the community at large!

About Alice Meadows

I am Director of Communications for ORCID (orcid.org), a
community-led nonprofit organization that aims to solve the name
ambiguity problem in research and scholarly communications. I
previously held a range of marketing roles for Wiley and, before that,
Blackwell (US and UK) including, most recently, as Director of
Communication. I was also a founding partner in a small UK business
offering marketing services to scholarly and STM publishers.
Note: The opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily
represent those of my employer.


2 thoughts on “All about ORCID

  1. Great: In addition to arXiv, SSRN, ResearchGate, etc., yet another set of passwords and user names I will need to remember …

    Posted by enrique | Dec 15, 2015, 8:39 am


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