The end of ambiguity concerning author names is near! In the past there was always the challenge to distinguish between authors having identical names. After the launch of the ORCID registry in October 2012 (www.orcid.org) there is more good news for scientists wanting to better organize their bibliographic collection. The collaboration between ORCID and CrossRef, announced on 14 November 2012, eliminates an existing barrier that hampered connectivity between platforms. Upon registration with ORCID it is now possible to search and import bibliographic data from CrossRef. Further changes are on the way or already in place, such as the possibility to use ORCID identifiers in manuscript and proposal submission processes. Several publishers and manuscript tracking systems are already integrating ORCID identifiers.
If you want to learn more about ORCID and the use of unique identifiers we recommend the OA article by Haak et al. in Learned Publishing from October 2012 (259-264(6), Volume 25, Number 4). Concerns about user identity can be neglected because it is not possible to deduce any personal information from the ORCID identifier.
HFSP was an early sponsor of ORCID and supports the concept of mapping scholarly work with Digital Object Identifiers (DOI). As a globally operating funding organization we are interested to follow the publication output of HFSP awardees working in very broad range of research areas. Efforts to track awardees’ publications based on names often produce misleading results (as is described by Haak et al.) or needs additional work to unequivocally match author names with entries in the HFSP awardees database. ORCID identifiers are useful not only to the individual scientist but also to funders like HFSP when tracking research output. Therefore HFSP is preparing to implement an ORCID identifier field into the online application forms for all HFSP programs and we want to encourage applicants for HFSP programs but also current HFSP awardees to register for their ORCID identifier.