Institution-wide ORCID Adoption Test in U.K. Shows Promise

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Via Gary Price's announcement on InfoDocket comes word of a cost-benefit analysis for the wholesale adoption of ORCID identifiers by eight institutions in the U.K. The report, Institutional ORCID, Implementation and Cost Benefit Analysis Report [PDF], looks at the perspectives of stakeholders, a summary of findings from the pilot institutions, a preliminary cost-benefit analysis, and a 10-page checklist of consideration points for higher education institutions looking to adopt ORCID identifiers in their information systems. The most interesting bits of the executive summary came from the part discussing the findings from the pilot institutions.

Perhaps surprisingly, technical issues were not the major issue for most pilot institutions. A range of technical solutions to the storage of researchers’ ORCID iDs were utilised during the pilots. ... Of the eight pilot institutions, only one chose to bulk create ORCID iDs for their researchers, the others opted for the ‘facilitate’ approach to ORCID registration.

Most pilot institutions found it relatively easy to persuade senior management about the institutional benefits of ORCID but many found it difficult to articulate the benefits to individual researchers. Several commented that staff saw it as ‘another level of bureaucracy’ and it was also noted that concurrent Open Access (OA), REF and ORCID activities can make the message confused, as they overlap. ... Clear and effective messages (as short and precise as possible), creating a well-defined brand for ORCID and the targeting of specific audiences and audience segments were identified as being especially important.

One thing I found surprising in the report was the lack of the mention of the usefulness of ORCID identifiers in the linked data universe. The word "linked" appeared six times in the report; five of the six mentions talk about connections between campus systems and ORCID. It would seem that some of the biggest benefits of ORCID ids will come when they appear as the object of a subject-predicate-object triple in data published and consumed by various systems on the open web. That is, part of the linked open data.