ORCID Integration Series: EMBL-EBI

In this third blog post we introduce you to the  EBI ORCID Hub we developed as part of the THOR project at EMBL-EBI, to integrate ORCID iDs into life science databases.

The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI)  is a centre for research and services in bioinformatics, and is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). There are hundreds of life sciences resources serving the biomedical research community, and at the European Bioinformatics Institute a number of essential resources do not incorporate ORCID iDs in their workflows yet. To support the adoption of ORCID iDs in data repositories we envisioned a Hub which manages the programmatic communication with the ORCID registry, keeps track of relevant ORCID records and makes integration with ORCID as easy as possible. Furthermore the creation of an ORCID Hub avoids duplication of integration efforts for many repositories.

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EBI ORCID Hub Overview

As a first milestone, the Hub allows EBI databases to easily add ORCID authentication, e.g. on submission forms. Because ORCID records may already contain some of the information that is necessary, submission forms can be automatically filled in using this information. In the last couple of months we worked heavily on improving the EBI ORCID Hub, and supported our first adopters MetaboLights and EMPIAR as they integrated ORCID iDs in their workflows.

MetaboLights is a database for metabolomic data and derived information. It holds data from metabolic experiments, as well as metabolite structures, their roles, and other related metadata. The EBI ORCID Hub allows MetaboLights’ submitters to authenticate their login using their ORCID iD.

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MetaboLights registration form integrated with ORCID authentication

Our second adopter is EMPIAR, a repository of electron microscopy images in structural biology. Like MetaboLights, they are using the ORCID Hub to identify their submitters by ORCID iD and to easily autofill their submission form.

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EMPIAR registration form integrated with ORCID

We are now focussing on milestone 2: expanding the Hub functionality to push information to the ORCID registry. In practice, this means that data repositories will be able to let their users claim records to their ORCID profile. Following this, we would like to begin keeping track of ORCID records that were claimed through our Hub, and managing this information for the databases linked to it. The idea is to let databases know when their records are being claimed, or when claimed records are changed. For those among you who want to build something similiar, and all the curious developers, we have deposited the code on GitHub (https://github.com/thor-project/ebi).