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September 14, 2017

Library Insider

ORCID at Pitt

As a researcher, you’re likely interested in saving time, getting recognition for all of your work and having in one place a complete record of all of your publications, grants and other information.

As librarians, one of the things we are interested in is making information as discoverable as possible, and that of course includes the works of our Pitt faculty and researchers.

One of the ways that librarians at Pitt have been able to help make the work of faculty and researchers more accessible and identified accurately is by facilitating the usage of ORCID at Pitt.

What is ORCID?

ORCID stands for Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID iD is a unique and persistent identifier for researchers — that is, an ID number that can help make your scholarship easier to find and attribute so that you get credit for all that you do. ORCID is a not-for-profit organization and is sustained by fees from member organizations (of which Pitt is one).

What does ORCID do?

Philosophical considerations aside, the answer to the question “Who am I?” is usually pretty straightforward. In the world of scholarship, however, it can be trickier to answer, especially if you have a somewhat common name. This is one place that ORCID can help.

ORCID uniquely and persistently identifies you and your published work throughout your career, even if you change your name, publish under different variations of your name, move institutions or switch fields. (I thought my name was pretty unique, but at Pitt alone there are two Jeffrey A. Wisniewskis!)

Through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, ORCID supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities, ensuring that your work is recognized.

Also important to note is that your ORCID iD is yours. Should you leave Pitt, your iD follows you wherever you might go — so while you can (and I’d argue should) connect your ORCID to Pitt, the iD belongs to you.

What about other identifiers?

Before ORCID was created, some database vendors, including Web of Science and Scopus, created their own identifiers. These services are fully compatible with ORCID. You can import all publications associated with your Scopus or Web of Science identifiers into your ORCID profile and any publication where you’ve included your ORCID iD will automatically be added to your Web of Science or Scopus profile.

How does using ORCID save time?

When ORCID is used in the manuscript submission process or grant application process, it will permanently link the resulting publication or grant to the author/investigator. ORCID also is used by publishers and funders to facilitate forms submission and reduce redundant data entry. For example, NIH and NSF are integrating ORCID iDs into the NCBI SciENcv to automatically generate the required Biosketch. ORCID works the best when it is linked to a variety of discovery systems (such as Web of Science, MLA, CrossRef, Scopus, UberResearch, EuroPubMed and DataCite) to allow for accurate retrieval of your publications and to help you increase exposure and recognition for your work.

Still not sure?

So far, I’ve been outlining some of the many benefits that make an ORCID iD a good thing to have. There is one additional reason to consider getting one, though, and that is that having one is increasingly becoming a requirement for a number of publishers and funders. Currently, this list includes Wiley, The Royal Society, Nature, IEEE and the Wellcome Trust, with more publishers and funders adding an ORCID requirement all the time.

What about privacy?

The information in your ORCID Record — positions held, articles published, grants received, email addresses, organizations affiliated with — is non-sensitive and available from other public sources. In addition, ORCID users can set certain information to a private setting.

During the setup process, you can choose to link your profile to Pitt. Sharing your ORCID iD and profile with Pitt allows the University to:

  • More easily showcase your scholarly output.
  • Showcase the scholarly output of your department, school or even the entire University.
  • Populate local systems to support networking, collaboration and reporting.
  • Automate administrative reporting.

More information on ORCID and privacy can be found here.

Ready to get ORCID?

Let’s say that either the myriad benefits to you or the funder and publisher requirements have you eager to get your ORCID iD. How do you go about it?

Registering for an ORCID iD is easy:

  1. Go to the ORCID@Pitt web app at
  2. Register or provide your existing ORCID iD.
  3. Connect ORCID to your Pitt ID.
  4. If you have other identifiers like a Web of Science Researcher ID, add them to your profile.

After your profile is established, use your ORCID iD when submitting grant proposals, articles for publication and with other objects to create a complete and accurate picture of your professional activity. As we said before it’s not unlikely that you will come across a publisher or funder that requires ORCID, so get ahead of the game and get an ORCID iD.

Have questions or need assistance? Contact us.


Jeff Wisniewski is the web services and communications librarian for the University Library System.


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