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ORCID and Researcher IDs: ORCID

What is ORCID® (Open Researcher and Contributor ID)?

ORCID is a non-profit, free service that allows researchers to create a researcher ID. ORCID iDs are unique from other researcher ID systems as they assign a sixteen-digit ID number to an individual researcher, which remains consistent across all academic sources. ORCID iDs are useful because: 

  • they enable researchers to have direct control in identifying what work belongs to them and ensures appropriate credit for work they have created.
  • ORCID enables researchers to control their privacy settings. Details of an ORCID record can be public, private, or customizable and only be accessible to a limited group.
  • the information researchers share publicly can be accessed by searching for followed by a researcher's sixteen digit ORCID iD, by anyone at no cost.
  • ORCID allows researchers to attach their iDs to their institutions, or to any public research activity they have engaged in, such as receiving grant funding or publishing a paper. 
  • organizations (such as funders, research organizations, publishers, repositories, professional associations, and universities) can easily view the researcher’s curated list of accomplishments.

For more information on the benefits of ORCID, please visit ORCID's Why Get an ORCID webpage.  To read more about the benefits of attaching your ORCID iD to an institution, like the University of Waterloo, please visit Why should I add the University of Waterloo as a Trusted Organization?

ORCID introduction: connecting research and researchers


Although there are many other researcher IDs to choose from, ORCID is rapidly becoming integrated with all areas of academic life.

For example, many publishers, like IEEE, are requiring authors have an ORCID iD to publish with them. And many international funding organizations have already issued statements and policies on the use of ORCID iDs (For more information on who's requiring ORCID iDs, please visit ORCID's ORCID in Publications webpage and Funders' ORCID policies webpage). 

Having a researcher ID is quickly becoming best practice in all scholarly fields, across the world.

In addition to funding and publishing, ORCID IDs are also useful for:

  • Author disambiguation: having a unique ID ensures that your work is properly attributed to you, rather than someone with the same name or a similar name. Further, having this unique identifier ensures that you will still get the recognition for your work through any life changes, like marriages, gender affirmations, or job transitions.
  • Retaining Ownership: your ORCID iD is yours. Regardless of life changes and job transitions, you maintain full control of your account. If you would like, you can add a trusted organization to your account to help manage and add verified information to your record. However, you are always free to remove those granted permissions.
  • Controlling your academic identity: having an ORCID iD allows you to definitively declare your academic achievements. This prevents people and organizations, like predatory publishers, from using your name and reputation for their own benefit.
  • Maintaining your CV: ORCID provides a convenient platform to track and share your complete academic career using just your iD. Acting as a comprehensive CV, ORCID saves you time and effort by eliminating the need to recall past activities or manually inputting your academic history, repeatedly.