Tag: ORCID

How to implement ORCID at a university?

Last week I presented on Imperial’s ORCID implementation at the German Library Congress in Leipzig, as part of a panel on researcher identifiers. The College implemented ORCID in 2014 when it generated identifiers for academic and research staff; see my ORCID article in Insights for details. We use Symplectic Elements, our Current Research Information System (CRIS), to track ORCID iDs and to allow new staff to register – a straightforward process.

However, not all universities have a CRIS and some do not even have an institutional repository (repository systems like DSpace often support ORCID). This has triggered the question, in Leipzig but also in discussions with colleagues in the UK and elsewhere, on how a university should implement ORCID if they do not have a system (or systems budget) for ORCID. Some universities are also not (yet) in a position to become institutional members of ORCID, so they could not integrate with ORCID even if their local systems supported it.

How should a university ‘implement’ ORCID if it has no suitable systems, no or not much of a budget and if it may not be able to become an institutional ORCID member in the immediate future?

This sounds daunting but there is actually a simple, straightforward solution. ORCID is only effective if researchers use their iD – at minimum they should share it with their publisher so the iD can be added to the metadata of their research outputs. Universities can simply encourage staff to self-register – it is free for individuals and only takes a minute. Neither systems support nor ORCID institutional membership are required. Whether to register with ORCID remains the choice of the individual academic, which also gets around lengthy institutional processes for defining policy and evaluating the legal background.

Simply set up a page describing the advantages of ORCID – see Imperial’s ORCID pages as an example-, and start highlighting ORCID as part of the academic engagement that libraries undertake anyway. If and when the university eventually becomes a member of ORCID and makes systems support available you can simply ask researchers to link their existing iD. At that point there may already be some outputs with ORCID in the metadata!

Speaking of systems: I would suggest to add ORCID to a system that gives researchers direct benefit, and to only add it to systems if and when there is a clear business need. For example: if you do not plan to report on ORCID through the HR system, then why implement ORCID there right now?

The key for success with ORCID is to ensure academics understand and use ORCID.

 

P.S. As part of the support for the UK ORCID consortium, Jisc are currently working on a more detailed decision tree for ORCID implementation, and we are discussing future events to support ORCID uptake.

UK ORCID members meeting and launch of Jisc ORCID consortium at Imperial College London, 28th September 2015

On Monday 28th September representatives of over 50 UK universities, ORCID, Jisc, GuildHE, RCUK and CRIS vendors met at Imperial College London for the first UK ORCID members meeting, and to launch the Jisc ORCID consortium. ORCID provides a persistent identifier that links researchers to their professional activities and outputs – throughout their career, even if they change name or employer. The unique iD ensures that authors receive credit for their work and allows institutions to automate information exchange with other organisations such as funders, thereby increasing data quality, saving academics time and institutions money.

In 2014, Imperial College London was one of the first universities in the UK to make ORCID available to researchers, working with the Jisc-ARMA-ORCID pilot. We have since actively engaged with ORCID and the community to increase uptake and improve systems integration.The UK ORCID meeting was designed to bring together different strands of these discussions, andto facilitate a broad discussion about the next steps for ORCID in the UK. Following the pilot programme, Jisc has negotiated an ORCID consortium through which universities can benefit from premium ORCID membership at significantly reduced cost. The meeting was the official launch event for the consortium.Over the last two years ORCID, a relatively new initiative, has gained a lot of momentum, not just in the UK:

  • over 1.65m researchers registered globally
  • ORCID iDs associated with over 4.3m DOIs
  • over 300 member organisations
  • 3 national consortia agreements signed (Italy, UK and Denmark) with more in progress

In 2011, Jisc had set up a “researcher identifier” task and finish group, that included funders, libraries, IT directors, research managers and organisations like HESA. This group eventually recommended ORCID as a solution for the UK. Since then, ORCID has seen increasing support from research organisations and funders. Recently, both the Wellcome Trust and NIHR have mandated the use of ORCID for grant applications. RCUK’s Overview of Systems Interoperability Project resulted in a strong endorsement for ORCID, as did HEFCE’s Report of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management.

Neil Jacobs from Jisc speaking at UK ORCID members meeting

The UK ORCID meeting was not in the first instance about funders and their mandates though, it was about a discussion between the ORCID member organisations, the Jisc consortium and the way we as a community want to move forward. Specifically, the meeting had four aims:

  • to raise awareness and understanding of ORCID and the Jisc consortium offer and benefits
  • to bring together the UK ORCID community and establish how we want to work together
  • to discuss community expectations for system and platform providers, funders and publishers
  • to inform the Jisc technical and community support offering

Audience at UK ORCID members meeting

The aim of the morning session was to raise awareness and create a shared understanding of ORCID. It started with presentations from ORCID and Jisc, followed by four university case studies from the pilot programme (Kent, Imperial, Oxford and York) and a Q&A panel. After lunch we discussed community requirements, and ways to work together to achieve these. Four thematic areas were discussed in breakout groups, organised through a community document where participants and others who could not attend in person, had listed their issues and expectations in advance of the meeting. This approach helped focus the discussions and led to a broad agreement on key issues.

Below is my summary of the key community requirements:

CRIS and repository platforms:

  • actively prompt users to link their ORCID iD
  • facilitate iD creation by pre-populating ORCID profiles with institutional affiliation and other relevant information
  • harvest metadata for outputs associated with an iD from other systems
  • allow users to push output metadata into the ORCID registry

Publishers:

  • collect ORCID iDs for all authors, not just the corresponding author
  • make iDs of all authors available with output metadata
  • mint DOIs on acceptance and link to authors’ iDs
  • make the author accepted manuscript available on acceptance, with an ID

Funders:

  • fully integrate ORCID into their workflows and systems
  • move towards mandating ORCID

This is only a high-level summary of a much richer discussion. Some of the detail that I have conveniently skipped over will no doubt lead to further discussions later, but I found it remarkable how broad the consensus was – across more than 50 universities with very different approaches, requirements and cultures. There is still a lot of work to be done until we can reap all of the benefits that ORCID can enable, but the members meeting showed that universities are keen to work together with Jisc and ORCID to make progress.

Universities across the UK are now actively considering how to roll out ORCID, and there was much interest in lessons learned and emerging best practice. A UK ORCID mailing list is currently being set up and Jisc and ORCID are looking into ways to capture and share information through the new consortium. Jisc are currently hiring for staff to support the consortium and help members to implement ORCID. I am looking forward to follow-on discussions with Jisc, ORCID and the community about the next steps.

 

Presentations (in order of appearance):

 

Making Open Access simple – The Imperial College approach to OA

When you come at it for the first time, open access looks pretty complicated. Funder policies, institutional policies, publisher policies, different flavours of OA including ‘green’, ‘gold’, ‘libre’ and ‘gratis’ and a whole new language with mystifying terms like ‘hybrid journal’, ‘article processing charge’ and ‘author accepted manuscript’ await. Even librarians sometimes struggle to understand journal policies, or what certain licensing conditions actually mean.

It was perhaps for this reason that, when we started the College open access project, academics gave us a clear mission: a one button solution to open access.

We haven’t quite achieved that yet, but since May we are running a new workflow that reduces the complexity to one sentence: ‘When you have a paper accepted, deposit the peer-reviewed manuscript – we do the rest, no matter what type of open access.’

The workflow is based on two ideas:

  1. Ask authors for the minimum information required.
  2. Offer authors a single publications workflow that covers green and gold OA as well information required for funder reporting.

The frontend for this workflow is Symplectic Elements, the system used by our academics to manage their scholarly outputs. We have worked with the vendor to deliver an OA workflow that kicks in on acceptance for publication, and then we customised the system to interface with ASK OA, our in-house APC management system.

On acceptance for publication, authors add minimal metadata and the manuscript to Elements, link the article to relevant grants and if they want the College to pay an open access charge they simply tick a box. Colleagues in the Library’s open access team then check the submission, set necessary embargoes and make the output available through Spiral, the College repository. If payment is requested, the data is automatically transferred to ASK OA, the cloud-based, workflow-driven system that we launched last year. Through that process, authors receive a purchase order number to send to their publisher. When the College receives the electronic invoice, our finance system matches the PO and the payment process starts. No author interaction needed.

OA form

Above you see a screenshot of the information we require from authors. In addition, they deposit the manuscript (or share a link if it was already deposited in an external repository) and link the output to relevant grants. That allows us to charge costs for open access publishing to the correct funders and, once funder systems are ready, will enable the College to automate funder reporting on research outputs. If you want to see a demonstration, check out this video guide produced by the College Library:

The feedback we had from academics has been positive so far, and the numbers show that as well:

June 2015

While the workflow is working well so far, we are still far away from what I would consider the ideal scenario. There are still enough journals with difficult and unhelpful policies, and no university workflow will be able to fix that. Publishers being unable to issue correct invoices is another issue. We also have the problem to reliably match the metadata entered on acceptance with the metadata for the published output. Publishers could help by issuing authors with a DOI on acceptance.

Even better, publishers could feed publication metadata into systems like CrossRef on the date of acceptance. If the metadata had funder, licence and embargo information attached and a link to the manuscript, then open access would indeed become a one-click-problem. Authors enter their data on submission, and following acceptance it automatically travels through all relevant systems, until it ends up in an institutional repository. There would be no additional effort for authors, and admin overhead would be reduced greatly. The components to enable this already exist, for example the author identifier ORCID that was rolled out across the College last year.

We are still working towards the goal of a “one button” solution for open access with our partners. Until then the message remains: deposit the manuscript on acceptance, we do the rest.

What is ORCID, and what is Imperial College doing about it?

Imagine you need to track down the author of an academic paper, and their name was “J. Smith”. If the area of research is specific enough or if J. Smith has referenced their article on their website it may not be too hard, but otherwise you might struggle. Are you looking at the Jane Smith from Computing, a J. F. Smith working on HPC or Professor James F. Smith – or are the latter two maybe the same person?

Now, you may think your name is unique enough in your area of research to suggest that others can easily find you. Unfortunately, even that does not always guarantee success. Take for instance Henry Rzepa, a chemistry professor at Imperial College London. When you search for his name on the DataCite site, you will find a “Henry S Rzepa”, “Henry S. Rzepa” “Rzepa, Henry” and “Rzepa, Henry S.” Is it safe to assume they are all the same Henry?

Problems like these are not uncommon when trying to identify creators of academic outputs, and different languages, typos, spelling conventions etc. add to the difficulty. ORCID, the Open Research Contributor ID, was designed to address this issue by making authors of research outputs easy to identify through a digital identifier – the ORCID.

ORCID logo

ORCID essentially does two things for authors: It gives them a unique identifier (say 0000-0002-8635-8390) which they can add to outputs to claim authorship. Secondly, ORCID provides a registry to which the outputs can link: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8635-8390.  The author owns the profile in the registry and can decide what information to make publicly available – this is a personal identifier and the owner has full control over it, not the host institution.

ORCID does not only help academics to be identifiable as authors of an output, it also offers the promise to automate admin work for them. When funding bodies implement ORCID – something not only UK funders are currently looking into – it may be possible to just share the ORCID instead of generating publication lists and/or filling in forms that could be auto-populated from ORCID. ORCID is still fairly new, but there are already some practical implementations. For example, Symplectic Elements, the CRIS system used at Imperial, supports ORCID: when it comes across an article with an ORCID it can automatically add this article to a publication list, no need for the author to manually claim the article (this feature will soon be rolled out across the College).

Despite being a relatively new initiative, ORCID has already seen considerable uptake across the globe. There are now 850,000 authors registered, and about a thousand of them have used an Imperial College email account to do so – this demonstrates that authors see ORCID as a valuable service.

In order to support its academic community, Imperial College became a member of ORCID. ORCID is a not for profit membership organisation, so it is not at risk of being bought by another company. The College has also joined a pilot community of UK universities working with Jisc, ARMA and ORCID to develop best practice, share approaches and increase uptake of ORCID. This post briefly outlines what we are planning to do as part of this project. It forms part of the Jisc reporting requirements, so it also deals with some of the technicalities such as the budget.

Jisc logo

Aims, Objectives and Final Output(s) of the project

The aim of the project is to increase awareness and uptake of ORCID across the scholarly community at Imperial College. The objectives are:

  • Communicate the benefits of ORCID at Imperial College.
  • Roll out an updated version of Symplectic Elements that supports ORCID.
  • Work with Symplectic to improve the ORCID implementation, in particular setting of institutional affiliation and sharing of information during the registration process.
  • Plan and implement bulk generation of identifiers as a service to staff who haven’t already registered.

The aim and objectives will be achieved within the context the College’s Open Access project, and as part of the community of the Jisc-ARMA ORCID pilot project.

Wider Benefits to Sector & Achievements for Host Institution

Imperial College is keen to support its staff to make best use of digital technology in research practice and scholarly communication. ORCID is a solution that helps academics to claim authorship of scholarly outputs, and to be easily and uniquely identifiable as authors. It addresses the problem of the ambiguity of person names, and opens up the potential to improve sharing of research information across systems and organisations – in particular with funding bodies and publishers. This could have the potential to save all parties time and effort and to increase the quality of data relating to research outputs.

The expected benefits for the sector are as follows:

  • Documenting the experiences with bulk generation to enable others to decide whether it is the right model for them;
  • Contributing to improved ORCID support in Symplectic Elements;
  • Increasing awareness of ORCID with College partner organisations;
  • Strengthening ORCID by adding another institutional membership;
  • Contributing to ORCID’s momentum by increasing uptake in the scholarly community;
  • Sharing communications, guidelines, publicity and promotional materials;
  • Sharing experience of integration with institutional systems

Project Team Relationships

  • Project owner: ORCID Project Board, on behalf of the Open Access Publishing group and the Provost’s Board
  • Project Director: Steven Rose (Vice Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences)
    Responsible for the business case, benefits realisation and responding to escalated issues
  • Project Manager (Business Delivery): Torsten Reimer (Open Access Project Manager, Research Office)
    Responsible for communicating with the Project Board, assisting with eliciting business requirements and ensuring the proposed solution meets the business need. Also responsible for rolling-out the solution and organising communications.
  • Business Advisors: Ruth Harrison (Team Leader (Education & Research Support), Library), Henry Rzepa (Professor, Chemistry) & Ian McArdle (Research Systems and Information Manager, Research Office)
    Responsible for providing the requirements and business scenarios to help define and test the solution.
  • Senior Supplier: David Ebert (Programme Manager, ICT)
  • Project Manager (Technical Delivery): Sue Flockhart (Project Manager/Analyst, ICT)
  • Developers as required

Projected Timeline

  • Engagement with pilot programme: May-January 2015
  • Initial investigation: May-July
  • Technical planning: August-September
  • Communications: September-January
  • Technical delivery (bulk creation): October (estimate)
  • Review and final report: January 2015

Budget

The College covers most of the cost of ORCID implementation from its own budget, in particular the project management and the ORCID membership fee. The Jisc project budget is used for engagement with the pilot programme, including blogging and providing a case study, and participating in relevant events (£4K), and for supporting the technical development and roll out of bulk generation via the ORCID API (£6K).