Open Access Week: What is ORCID?

As part of Open Access Week, the libraries recommend that faculty and students set up their own ORCID ID. ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a global non-profit organization that provides persistent digital identifiers (similar to a permalink) for researchers to use in identifying themselves. It is used to distinguish researchers and connect a researcher with their work.

Most names are not unique and name confusion can lead to you not getting credit for all your work. Scholars often publish using variants of their name (e.g., J.A. Smith, John A. Smith, John Smith) Over the course of your career, you may work at several organizations and have material published in various publications. As a result, it can be difficult for others to be sure the name identifying you is actually you! ORCID helps solve this confusion.   

When you sign up to ORCID you are issued a 16-character identifier that you can use to clearly identify you. This identifier belongs to you and you control it. With it you can highlight your employment, education, awards, honors, distinctions, memberships, funding, grants, published works, and research.


What is ORCID? – ORCID on Vimeo.


Why is ORCID useful?

With ORCID, you become part of a global community of researchers using ORCID to improve their recognition, make their work discoverable, and control their recognized body of work. ORCID allows you to spend more time doing research and less time managing it.

ORCID’s mission is to enable transparent, trustworthy connections between researchers, their contributions, and their affiliations. It achieves its mission by providing an ORCID ID, allowing users to set up an ORCID record connected to that ID, and offering a set of Application Programming Interfaces that enables the ORCID record to be connected to member organizations. Choosing to connect an ORCID record to an organization makes it easier for researchers to report information to organizations and for organizations to add information to an ORCID record. This information could be journal articles, funding grants, awards, and more. 

Once you sign up with ORCID, you can share your ID with organizations and give them permission to update your record with information they have: publications, email addresses, professional affiliations, and more! You control the degree of privacy of your information in ORCID. Learn more about ORCID’s privacy policy and settings.

An ORCID ID is essential in most professions. Most journals now require that an author have an ORCID ID for them to submit a manuscript. Many grant funders also now require that applications include ORCID identifiers. Your ORCID ID may also be included in the metadata for the published work, further distinguishing you from others. You can also choose to allow the publisher to update your ORCID profile with information about published manuscripts or peer review activity. Doing so helps you get credit for your professional activities. Catholic University has 843 affiliations with 410 current ORCID members. 

How do I get an account?

Register for an ORCID account by following these three steps:

  1. Claim your free ORCID ID at
  2. Import your research outputs and add biographical information using the automated import wizards.
  3. Use your ORCID when applying for grants, submitting publications, or sharing your CV. Learn more at


Learn more by visiting or contacting Kevin Gunn, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship at


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