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You Are Not Alone: 12 Million Registered ORCID iDs and Counting…


By: Karen Gutzman, Head, Research Assessment and Communications 

If you have ever tried to find a researcher’s entire body of scholarly work based on their name, maybe even with a few identifying characteristics such as subject area, years active, or geographical region, you will instantly understand the painful problem of name disambiguation. At last count, the UNESCO Science Report counted 7.8 million full-time equivalent researchers in 20131, which accounts for about 0.1% of the global population. Moreover, with all those researchers, there is bound to be overlap if we only rely on names for identifying scholarly contributions.  

To address this issue, the scholarly community created the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID), which can uniquely identify and connect researchers to their scholarly contributions regardless of whether the researcher changes their name, their field of study, or any of their affiliations. Since 2015, over 12 million researchers have registered for an ORCID iD2.  

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How can you register for an ORCID iD?

You can quickly register for an ORCID iD using the Northwestern ORCID Enrollment site. Even if you already have an ORCID iD, we highly recommend you use this site to link your ORCID iD to your Northwestern credentials.  

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Are you unsure if you have an ORCID iD?

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How can you use your ORCID?

Signing up for an ORCID iD takes only a few minutes and you can make use of it in many different situations.  

  • Use your ORCID iD if prompted during manuscript submission and grant proposals and submission.  
  • Link your ORCID iD to (or include it in your profile for) in services such as Scopus Author Profiles, ResearcherID, figshare, and your professional organizations. 
  • Include your ORCID iD on conference posters (generate a QR code, if you like, right from your ORCID record page), to direct people to your works. 
  • Consider including your ORCID iD on your webpage, in social media accounts, and in your email signature. 
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What is the future of ORCID?

Several new and exciting changes about ORCID are worth mentioning.  

  • Newly designed profiles. The ORCID interface has a fresh new look that improves readability and accessibility for users. 
  • Highlighting contributions. ORCID will soon be supporting the CRediT ontology, a popular contributor role taxonomy that represent contributions to a scientific scholarly output.  
  • Requirements by NIH. As of January 2020, the NIH requires ORCID identifiers at the time of application for individual fellowship and career development awards.  
  • New research types. ORCID now supports Data Management Planson the list of work types within the registry. 
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Galter Library is just a click away!

Need some help with your ORCID? Curious about how to use your ORCID with sciENcv? Want to request a presentation to your faculty on ORCID? See our online ORCID Guide or contact your liaison librarian.  


1. From the UNESCO Science, Report, Towards 2030. 
2. ORCID Statistics. 

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Updated: December 14, 2021