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October 2, 2019

Academy Award winning English actor and director Sir Lawrence Olivier once said, “You’re only as good as your last job.”

The same could be said of the competitive world of higher education, in which faculty and researchers spend years building their professional reputation so that they have better opportunities, including awards, tenure and promotion.

But what happens if your name is the same as someone else’s, and they haven’t accomplished as much as you have? Or worse, what if someone else gets credit for your work?

Louis Santiago, professor of physiological ecology, shared a story about two graduate students named Padria and Patrick.* “Padria applied for a job and didn’t get it because the person evaluating the applications got her confused with Patrick, who didn’t have a very good publication record,” he explained. “Without reading her CV carefully, the reviewer thought she was this other person. So Padria was very concerned and decided to register with ORCID to document her own publication record, so there would be no confusion.”

The next paper that Padria turned in to Santiago included her ORCID ID (Open Researcher & Contributor ID). “I was like, ‘Oh, what’s this?’” Santiago said. “So, I got my own profile and linked it to my Web of Science profile, which was really great. Now my Web of Science profile has all my papers, and other L.S. Santiagos aren’t included.”

ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-based registry of unique researcher identifiers. All who participate in research, scholarship, and innovation are uniquely identified and connected to their contributions across disciplines, borders, and time through ORCID ID. An ORCID ID consistently identifies you throughout your career.

By creating a permanent, clear and unambiguous digital record of a researcher, ORCID helps to distinguish a researcher from other individuals with similar names. Additionally, ORCID ID is not  affected by name changes, cultural differences in name order, inconsistent first-name abbreviations, or the use of different alphabets.

ORCID ID creates links between a researcher’s profile and a large array of scholarly outputs, prestige, and honors, including journal articles, data sets, patents, grants received, awards, and membership, to name a few. Thus, many kinds of professional contributions are recognized.

With ORCID, you maintain all key information in one place and control privacy settings, including what information is displayed publicly and what is shared with trusted partners.

Professional benefits to registering for an ORCID ID include:

  • Funders, institutions, and societies can easily identify you and your research
  • You don’t waste time entering repetitive data when reporting on your past activities
  • Your professional activities are clearly linked back to you
  • You can easily comply with funder mandates

The ability to quickly and confidently identify you and your work is critical to your reputation and career. Funders, publishers, scholarly societies and associations, fellow researchers and potential collaborators need to be able to identify your work. The University of California Riverside also needs to be able to identify your work, for many reasons from institutional benchmarking to research recordkeeping.

The UCR Library Research Services Department is committed to supporting the scholarly identity management needs of UCR researchers. If you have any questions about creating an ORCID or other researcher identifiers, please contact Swati Bhattacharryya, Scholarly Communication Librarian at the UCR Library. 

Register your ORCID ID today and stand out in the sea of researchers, so you always get credit for your work.

*Students names have been changed to protect their privacy.