#ENVRiD: Integrating ORCID iDs in Environmental Research Infrastructures

THOR – ENVRIplus Bootcamp


On March 28 and 29, representatives from over twenty environmental research infrastructures gathered at Aalto University, Finland to discuss ORCID integrations and more.

Tweet Asmi
Tweet: Starting #ENVRiD!

After introductions to the organising projects (THOR and ENVRIplus) and a general introduction to ORCID, Markus Stocker (PANGAEA) kicked off the series of presentations on ORCID integrations with a live demo on how to connect your PANGAEA account with ORCID and log in with your ORCID iD. This demo immediately showcased one of the key benefits of integrating ORCID within your infrastructure: through linking with ORCID, PANGAEA automatically receives the information you have given ORCID permission to share, in particular your ORCID iD. This enables automated cross-linking of data DOIs and contributor ORCID iDs and sharing of such link information with PID infrastructure, specifically ORCID. Xiaoli Chen’s (CERN) presentation on ORCID integration at CERN also showed the benefits of integrating ORCID within the high energy physics community − for example: how to deal with a publication with no less than 2853 authors!

Photo: Markus Stocker welcoming participants in Helsinki

The ORCID integration talks continued with representatives from two environmental research infrastructures, namely ICOS and Argo, as well as the EGI e-Infrastructure. While these infrastructures have not started fully integrating ORCID within their systems, the talks gave an overview of their current plans.

  • At ICOS, ORCID has been integrated in Carbon Portal user profiles and the team is working to implement the integration following best practice (ie obtaining validated iDs from ORCID). As there are currently only a few people with ORCID iDs, the main challenge is to motivate people to create an ORCID account and link their user profiles.
  • After instructions on how to cite data were included in Argo’s user manual, more people have started to assign DOIs to their datasets. DOIs make citing much more efficient, but at present the DOIs used do not provide credit to the individual contributors, since Argo is listed as the single author of datasets. Argo has identified ORCID iDs as a tool to list and credit individual contributors. Argo’s metadata describing the different roles of contributors to the dataset will be pushed to DataCite. DataCite will then push the information to ORCID records automatically.
  • At EGI, users with ORCID iDs can use their iD to login to the EGI Checkin service, which enables them to get authenticated access to EGI resources and tools. Further plans for integration, which are already in development, include linking to articles and datasets.
Slide: Argo: Auto-update ORCID record through DataCite DOIs

After lunch, Tom Demeranville (ORCID) explained more about the ORCID API and ORCID’s collect and connect program. Laura Rueda (DataCite) stressed the importance of complete and interoperable metadata − it even got its own slide! (see below) – and Kristian Garza (DataCite) showed the importance of complete metadata in his demo of claiming published datasets to ORCID retroactively. Other topics discussed in the afternoon included the Scholix framework and DataCite event data.

metadata groot
Slide: Metadata!

Day one ended with a discussion on the motivations for research infrastructures to integrate ORCID iDs in their workflows. The main motivations are attribution and disambiguation. Other reasons mentioned by the participants are the benefits of automated workflows and interoperable research systems whereby information is pushed to and linked within different systems and repositories automatically. Another reason for ORCID integration is that ORCID iDs are required by some publishers. Some of the biggest challenges to integration, however, were identified as being social rather than technical: getting people to register, and making sure they will use their iDs, was cited as one of the biggest barriers. For journal articles, however, ORCID iDs are more accepted as common practice. Yet people need to be encouraged to use their iD when they are uploading their datasets as well. Funding and time constraints to build the integration itself also pose a challenge.

Photo: Hands on with the ORCID API

On day two, attendees split into two breakout sessions to attend either the infrastructure developers’ or managers’ track. In the developers’ room, Tom Demeranville took the participants through a hands-on session on the ORCID API. In the managers’ track there were more general presentations on new developments within the PID community, such as on the Organisation Identifier project, dynamic data citation, and PIDs for instruments. As these are all new initiatives, more work and discussions are needed to move forward to take into account the different requirements by different stakeholder communities. For example, within the environmental research community, more discussion is needed on how to describe instruments. Should DOIs be used? Or is it better to use serial numbers for physical objects? And what happens when organisations use the same instruments? One solution that was suggested was the adoption of a form of ISO standard that is recognised by different countries. For dynamic data citation, there is no standard solution in place yet.

For the environmental research institutions that want to take their ORCID integrations forward, the same also applies. A short exercise showed that most RIs think that pursuing ORCID integration is urgent. And as the closing summary of the participating infrastructures’ intentions towards ORCID integrations shows, most RIs are either thinking about it or are definitely going for it this year. Much work remains to be done but we are confident that at #ENVRiD Part Two we will see progress toward such integrations!