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What is an ORCID iD?


some content provided to UVA by Stanford University Libraries

ORCID is a non-profit organization, which provides a fully open and interoperable identifier to reliably connect researchers with their research contributions.  

The Open Researcher and Contributor ID or ORCID iD is a 16-digit identifier that researchers can register and use for free.  An ORCID iD:

  • Connects individuals and their professional contributions across disciplines, organizations, and time.
  • Enables recognition of all types of research contributions and innovation.
  • Helps research institutions, funders, publishers, and other organizations better track and support research work.

How ORCID Works

  • It's a registry of unique persistent identifiers for researchers.
  • It's a hub that connects researchers with their professional activities and contributions.
  • It's a global community that enables researchers to share their data with other individuals, organizations, and systems.

Why you need an ORCID ID

Ensure your work is recognized.

  • Quickly and unambiguously identify and attribute your work.
  • Distinguish yourself from every other contributor, even those who share your name.
  • Gain recognition of your peer reviewing activities.


Maintain all your key information in one place.

  • ORCID is supported and increasingly required by major funders, publishers, societies, and research organizations, including some schools at UVA.
  • Save yourself time when applying for funding, jobs, and submitting research to online publication platforms.
  • Increase discoverability of your research.


ORCID is free, quick and easy to register and use. 

  • ORCID is not for profit: your data is not tracked or sold. 
  • Own and control your own record: choose which information is private and which is shared. 
  • It takes seconds to associate your ORCID iD with an account. 

Challenges using author names to identify individuals

What's in a name?

  • Most names are not unique.
    • Many people have the same name.
    • Names change from marriage, divorce, gender transition, religious conversion, or other circumstances.
    • People use different versions of their name during their career.
    • Individuals use different alphabets, abbreviations, or naming conventions.
  • Researchers are mobile.


Author Disambiguation

  • Process that aims to find all publications that belong to a given author and distinguish them from publications of other authors who share the same name.
  • A mere hundred surnames make up over 85% of China's 1.3 billion citizens.  The top three - Wang, Li, and Zhang - cover more than 20% of the population.