Bring a Zombie ORCID back to life

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With rumours of the researcher identifier ORCID being mandatory for the next REF, I came across the concept of the “Zombie ORCID” on this blog post (recounting an ORCID workshop run by the OU):

“Most people who had encountered ORCID had been prompted to add an ORCID by publisher or funder submission systems.  So people had created ORCIDs in order to complete the submission of an article or a bid… and probably hadn’t done anything with their ORCID account afterwards.  So what’s the wider impact of this – researchers signing up for ORCIDs to comply with funder publisher requirements but not really knowing what it’s for, or what to do with it?  Zombie accounts we called them… and that’s a problem.”

If you have created an ORCID for an administrative reason in the past and then not done anything further with it, take a few moments to bring it back to life!

  1. Check your details are up to date by signing in and tweaking your account details if necessary: if you need to alter your email, it’s a simple process requiring verification.
  2. It’s very easy to add your publication history to your ORCID and give it real value: ORCID has a variety of ways to get your papers in automatically without typing: it connects directly with the following bibliometric sources:
    • CrossRef: this will draw on a vast amount of publication metadata. Tip: put a “+” in front of each word to get results that include both names e.g. +Samantha +Oakley This is a particularly useful option for Humanities or Social Science areas where coverage in the other databases may not be so good, particularly for book chapters. You can even sign up for CrossRef to auto-update your ORCID profile with new publications, ensuring it never becomes a zombie again.
    • Scopus: the massive Elsevier database has a profile for each author on a paper it has indexed. You may wish to also check your Scopus profile is correct too, showing all your publications.
    • Web of Science (Researcher ID): the rival Thomson Reuter database also has its own identifier and database. It may give slightly different results to Scopus but the two are likely to be similar.
    • European PubMed Central: useful for those in health-related areas.
    • If you have your papers in a reference management tool like EndNote or Mendeley, ORCID provides an import and export of “Bibtex” formatted files of references. Just look for the option to export your papers from within EndNote or Mendeley.
  3. Add your ORCID to your HR information on Swansea University’s Agresso Business World HR system : it will then appear on your staff web page and in RIS (you can pull your outputs into RIS from ORCID). See our post on using your ORCID in SU systems for more information.
  4. Above all else, use your ORCID on any funding applications or publications: the more you use it, the more future work can be attributed to the authoritative record of your academic profile. This not only avoids your work being wrongly attributed to others of the same or similar name, but also means you have a neat online profile and single point of reference for all your achievements.

As more and more places require researchers to have an ORCID, it’s important to make sure yours is a true reflection of your work and not an empty page!

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2 Comments

Filed under Research News

2 responses to “Bring a Zombie ORCID back to life

  1. Why is having an zombie Orcid account a problem? You don’t explain and neither does the blog post you reference. If it’s only a unique ID that disambiguates authors so that publishers can properly link works to their producers, why does it matter? There needs to be a bit more value to having a properly maintained Orcid account to make it worthwhile surely.

    And I’ve checked my account, and it seems to be correct and up to date.

    • ISS Research Support

      True – if it’s just a barcode for your identity (like a National Insurance number) then it doesn’t matter if it’s empty but if an ORCID is used on funding or any other context where a portfolio of publications is important, then a blank ORCID is not useful. It also means you can’t take advantage of any other resource that draws data off an ORCID: ImpactStory is one example, Swansea University’s RIS is another. We are a long way from having one publication list that researchers need to keep up to date but I think an ORCID is a step in the right direction for that, especially with the option of getting automatic updates from CrossRef. [Sam]

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