Build Your Scholarly Reputation with an ORCID iD

By Linda Johnsen January 30, 2018

Researchers can build their own scholarly reputation and ensure they get credit for all of their work through the ORCID iD system. The ORCID team at UNC’s University Libraries has been working with the UNC Office of Research to bring ORCID iD and its benefits to UNC researchers.

What is an ORCID iD?

ORCID stands for Open Researcher and Contributor ID. It is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that provides a unique and persistent digital identifier to distinguish you from all other researchers, automatically linking your scholarly works. The ORCID iD is a string of randomly assigned characters. It does not include your birth date, social security number, or any other personal information. With thousands of journals now collecting ORCID iDs from corresponding authors, they can be used with publication submissions in any discipline.

How can having an ORCID iD help researchers?

Most importantly, an ORCID iD allows name disambiguation. If you share your name with another person—or maybe even dozens of other people—it can be difficult for someone else to know which are your publications. Your ORCID iD is yours alone. When you associate a piece of work with your ORCID iD, people can have confidence that it is, in fact, your work.

Once you have your ORCID iD, you create a profile and add your publications and institutional affiliations. ORCID lets you control your own scholarly profile. Adding your ORCID iD to your website, email signature, and publications is an easy way to enhance your visibility as a researcher. And since the ORCID iD is designed to be used throughout your career, you can continue to add publications and connections even if you change institutions or start researching in a new field.

In addition, many funding agencies and publishers already require or request an ORCID as part of their submission processes. This is an increasingly common practice.

  • Funding organizations like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Wellcome Trust, and Portuguese FCT are requesting ORCID iDs during grant submission and plan to use it to reduce the burden of grant submission. The NIH recently announced that it is expanding its integration with ORCID and will be establishing a real-time link between eRA Commons and ORCID, enabling researchers to associate ORCID with their eRA Commons account. According to NIH, participating researchers “should expect to see additional functionality over time, such as assistance completing NIH applications and reporting requirements as well as allowing public data on NIH grant awards to populate ORCID” (Lauer 2017).
  • Publishers of journals such as PLOS, Science, and Lancet are collecting ORCID iDs during manuscript submission, and your ORCID iD becomes a part of your publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you.

How do I register for my ORCID iD?

ORCID iD registration is free and takes less than a minute. UNC librarians are happy to walk you through that process.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) encourages all faculty and other UNC scholars to register for an ORCID iD and to connect it to their UNC ID (PID).

  • As UNC integrates ORCID iDs into key research systems and workflows, ORCID-PID connections will enable inclusion of ORCID iD in grant applications or publications that may require or otherwise use the ORCID iD.
  • This connection will provide UNC with the information it needs to analyze the institution’s research output and impact.
  • You are encouraged to continue the ORCID – PID connection even if you leave the university, but you can choose to undo this connection at any time.

A Library-wide ORCID team is working with researchers across campus and in every discipline. Team members have created resources and outreach tools covering the benefits of an ORCID iD and how to get started, and will soon lead campus workshops to provide information and support for the ORCID creation and connection process.

ORCID team members are happy to answer questions or meet with groups or departments to discuss ORCID or anything related to open access. You can email the team or ask a librarian in person or online for help getting started with ORCID.

Lauer, M. 2017. “Teaming with ORCID to Reduce Burden and Improve Transparency.” NIH Extramural Nexus Open Mike. Accessed January 4, 2017. Available from:

Last modified: 06/26/19