THOR Ambassador Update

On October 13, we held a webinar for our ambassadors to update them on recent THOR activities. Tom Demeranville explained more about ORCID integrations at the THOR disciplinary partners, ORCID Work Identifier types and other recent technological developments, such as Datacite’s Event Data and ORCID Auto Update. A preview of what THOR is planning for the remainder of 2016 and in 2017 was given by Josh Brown. Plans include:

  • Further integration of PIDs in production services
  • Improvement of data citation
  • Continuing the research into the best solutions for missing PIDs.

The webinar slides can be found on the THOR Knowledge Hub.

We rely on our ambassadors to help facilitate and spread discussion about recent PID developments. Some of our ambassadors are very active on Twitter and increase THOR’s visibility by (re-)tweeting. Others spread the word about PIDs amongst their networks in person, promoting their benefits at conferences and workshops. And we are also organising our first bootcamp with one of our ambassadors in Spain. In return, we help you keep up-to-date with recent PID developments through email, webinars and newsletters.

It’s great to see how our ambassadors are contributing to achieving THOR’s mission: connecting people, places and things. And the number of ambassadors is still growing. Not just in Europe but on other continents as well. This week, we welcomed another ambassador in Australia. Click here, for an overview of our ambassadors. If you’d like to be part of this community, please get in touch. We’ll be organising an informal get together over lunch on Thursday 10 November at Pidapalooza. If you’ll be attending and would like to find out more about our ambassador programme, please join us!


THOR at Digital Infrastructures for Research

The last week of September 2016, several THOR partners headed to the city of churches, Krakow, to participate in the Digital Infrastructures for Research conference (DI4R). DI4R was an event organised by Europe’s leading e-infrastructures, EGI, EUDAT, GÉANT, OpenAIRE and the Research Data Alliance (RDA) Europe, in which researchers, developers and service providers brainstormed and discussed adoption of digital infrastructure services and promote user-driven innovation. Adam Farquhar (British Library), Josh Brown (ORCiD), Robin Dasler (CERN) and myself, Kristian Garza (DataCite), closed the first day of activities with a talk that emphasised that PIDs are a set of tools and systems to be integrated and promoted in infrastructures and services for researchers.

Our session was divided into short presentations that showcased how ORCiD iDs and DataCite DOIs are integrated into research systems and connected with other platforms. After that, we presented the case of CERN for PID integration which showcased how PIDs enabled linking, attribution, claiming and citation of contributors and datasets.

The session was followed by a discussion on ORCiD nationwide use cases and the need for improving metadata capturing compliance of DOIs. Finally, the DI4R audience shot the THOR panel with a provocative series of questions. For example:

    – “How should we deal with credit attribution of collections of datasets? When in some areas data collections are created by a contributor but each item in the collection has a different producer.”  

    – “Do we need PIDs for machines and instrumentation?”

    – “What about PIDs for projects?”

Certainly, some those questions need further thought and exploration by the THOR members and the community at large. Join us at Pidapalooza if you want to be part of this discussion.

Overall the THOR session at DI4R highlighted the project’s work (specifically DataCite’s Event-Data and ORCiD’s auto-update) and ended up with a good discussion about future lines of work to be developed.


THOR Bootcamp in Madrid

Bootcamp the THOR en Madrid(Spanish version below)

Want to learn more about Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) and how to harness their potential to advance your work? THOR is launching its first Bootcamp in Madrid at UC3M on 16-17 November. We will look at topics like PID service integration, research data management, and research output compliance/ impact tracking – bring your questions and let’s crack them together.

THOR is an EC funded project set out to investigate and push the interoperability of scholarly infrastructure through PIDs. By bringing together PID stakeholders from all sides – PID issuers, research organizations, data centers, and researchers – THOR leads the development of PID solutions and gains first-hand experience of local integration through early adopters.

The bootcamp aims to transfer this knowledge to the wider community – funders, publishers, librarians, tool builders, researchers, etc. – and fuel PID related strategic planning and technical integration with practical guidance. The two-day event will include both talks on the current development of PID hot topics and a hands-on tool-building component. We will take the community response to our pre-event questionnaire into consideration, and tailor the content for you – prepare to advance your PID agenda by the end of the bootcamp!

Registration to the bootcamp is open, let us know what you want to learn most about PIDs during the registration process, and see you in Madrid!

¿Quieres saber más sobre identificadores persistentes (PIDs) y cómo aprovechar su potencial? THOR lanza el primero de una serie de Bootcamps internacionales en Madrid el próximo mes de Noviembre. Indagaremos sobre identificadores, integración de sistemas, gestión de datos de investigación, conformidad con estándares y seguimiento del impacto. Ven con tus preguntas y buscaremos respuestas todos juntos.

THOR es un proyecto financiado por la Comisión Europea diseñado para investigar las necesidades de interoperabilidad y empujar nuevos desarrollos que asienten las infraestructuras académicas y de investigación a través del uso de identificadores persistentes. THOR reúne a todas las partes — proveedores de servicios, organismos de investigación, centros de datos e investigadores — para desarrollar una infraestructura sólida y compartida, que genere experiencia y que apoye a los nuevos integradores.

Este Bootcamp tiene como objetivo compartir la experiencia de THOR con una comunidad más amplia — bibliotecas, servicios de investigación, editoriales, organismos de evaluación, investigadores, alentar la planificación estratégica y alimentar el desarrollo de nuevos servicios en España, particularmente los relacionados con datos de investigación. El evento, de dos días de duración, incluirá tanto charlas informativas como discusiones y trabajo práctico. Utilizaremos las preferencias de los asistentes para dar forma a una agenda adaptada a las necesidades de la comunidad y que permita a todos obtener lo máximo posible de la sesión.

¡El registro para el primer Bootcamp the THOR en Madrid ya está abierto! Rellena el formulario y déjanos conocer tus intereses para cerrar la agenda. ¡Nos vemos en Noviembre!

Assessing the PID Landscape: Where is THOR in Context?

Part of knowing how well THOR is doing is knowing how our work fits into the overall context of persistent identifiers (PIDs) at large. This is why we began the project with an eye toward sustainability and also why we developed the metrics dashboard in the early days of the project. (That report is on Zenodo, if you’d like to read it again.)

Now that THOR has celebrated its first birthday, it’s time to pause and see what the PID landscape looks like now compared to when we first started. Assessing these changes now will help THOR tweak our roadmap for the future, making sure we stay on track for the remainder of the project. All of these assessment and evaluation efforts will eventually turn into a formal report at the end of the project, but we know how hard it is to wait. To tide you over, we’ve released a white paper based on our internal midtrack assessment.

Your feedback, questions, and comments are always welcome at

Persistent IDs and Theses: ETD2016, Lille

The International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) is an annual get together exploring all-things thesis and PhD research. I was there to present a poster on how THOR is developing improved support for identifiers in the British Library’s thesis service, EThOS.

We have previously engaged with UK universities to see how they are already applying identifiers to their theses and data, and what could be done to move that along; we then added support in the EThOS metadata for author identifiers and thesis DOIs. Now as part of THOR, we are planning to push that further by facilitating the development work necessary to enable users to claim theses in EThOS in their ORCID record. This will also enable EThOS to look at completing the round trip, pulling ORCIDs from those claims into EThOS.


Currently, anyone with a thesis in EThOS can only add it to their ORCID record manually. This process is prone to errors. Enabling a claim button on EThOS records will make it quicker and easier for researchers to add their thesis to ORCID. If we can then can retrieve claims information from ORCID, we can add links for users to find more works by that author.

There is still one link in this process that is slow to appear in the UK: persistent identifiers for the thesis itself. Many have Handle identifiers from their host repository, but we want to encourage further use of persistent identifiers for theses to make them more easily discoverable and accessible, especially where they are being cited. Having a link for the thesis and its data will also help to maintain the link between the two. We hope this will encourage students to think of their data as a separate, valuable output from their years of hard work, and implant the seed of good data management and sharing right at the start of their careers. So as well as the technical work to develop EThOS, we are working with universities to encourage them to apply persistent identifiers to their theses – and the data from the thesis.

ETD was a great venue to talk to the other repository managers who were interested in applying this work within their own repositories, and a welcome opportunity to answer their questions about the advantages to their institutions – and their students – of our planned approach.

A couple of recurring questions arose:

1. I have Handles in my repository for items already. Will they do?
Technically, yes. Having handles on your theses and related data will certainly enable you to take advantage of consistent linking and citation of the theses. But we do see additional advantages in the use of DOIs. These are: 1) recognition by researchers; 2) the additional governance of DOIs, providing a safety net in terms of long-term persistence.

2. When should our students get ORCIDs? How can we encourage them?
Your students should make sure they have an ORCID as soon as they are ready to publish their first output, whether that be a paper, a dataset, a poster or a conference proceeding.  The first thing institutions can do to encourage them is practice what you preach: demonstrate how you, as repository staff, can bring together your own publications and outputs, and the advantages it has for you!

The poster, which outlines our aims, challenges and potential solutions, can be found online at:

PIDapalooza, the festival of persistent identifiers is coming soon!

This blog post by Laura Rueda has been cross-posted from the DataCite Blog.

Passionate as we are about persistent identifiers, we are delighted to invite you to PIDapalooza, the festival of PIDs this November in Reykjavik. Together with colleagues from Crossref and the California Digital Library, THOR partners DataCite and ORCID have envisioned this community gathering for everyone who’s working with identifiers: digital tech experts, publishers, researchers, tool builders, organisations, infrastructure providers… and you!


The program will include a mixture of PID demos, workshops, brainstorming, updates on the state of the art, and more – and we invite your contributions. Working together we can catalyze the development of innovative tools, services and community actions.

Come share your ideas with a crowd of like-minded innovators! Send your session proposal, in a very lightweight format, by September 18. The festival lineup will be announced the first week of October.

Registration is already open. Sponsorship offers are welcome, please contact  if you want to support the initiative.


Where: Radisson Blu Saga Hotel Reykjavik, Hagatorg, 107 Reykjavik, Iceland

When: 9th and 10th November 2016

See you in Reykjavik!


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.

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.

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.

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 (

ORCID Integration Series: CERN

CERN is a hub for all things High-Energy Physics (or HEP for short). Nearly all researchers in the HEP field make CERN their home for all or part of their research careers. Most of these researchers maintain separate university affiliations as well, making the CERN research community a distributed decentralized global network. When we’re designing information services, we have to consider this global family and devise ways for them to keep track of all their research, all in one place, automatically. Fortunately for us, we can take advantage of third party services developed by our partners in THOR in order to add needed functionality in a way that’s consistent, reliable, and shares our Open Science values.

Inspire, the primary database for HEP literature, provides a number of ways for researchers at CERN and abroad to stay on top of what’s happening in their field. Inspire is a literature aggregator, meaning that it harvests metadata from a suite of HEP-relevant journals that users can then search for pertinent literature. This metadata then feeds other services, such as HEPData, the repository for supplementary publication data in HEP, and allows us to automatically generate author profiles. Handling much of this information automatically is a great benefit for our users, and it makes Inspire a rich source for information specific to research in HEP. But this usefulness naturally doesn’t extend to other systems or disciplines. Tapping into the ORCID iD system will let our users be identified in a variety of scholarly systems and will help them link their HEP work to any other area of their research life.

In the Inspire author profiles, we already had a homegrown system for pushing and pulling works information to and from ORCID. For those authors who have associated an ORCID iD with their profile (a process that formerly required manual entry and manual verification), we are able to append works information from Inspire to their ORCID record, and we are able to pull works information from their ORCID record to display on the External works tab in their Inspire profile. We have now extended this functionality with the ability to authenticate through ORCID for other Inspire functions. This authentication is in place for Inspire’s literature and author suggestion functions and for correction of authors. Further modification of Inspire data via ORCID authentication will be rolled out with the new release of Inspire slated for later this year.

This additional functionality is an extension of Inspire’s upgrade to an all-new version of its underlying Invenio platform. The completely overhauled Invenio 3 includes a module for ORCID authentication, making Inspire’s integration painless. And since Invenio is underneath all of CERN’s scientific information systems (Inspire, HEPData, and Zenodo), this means we’re one step closer to an interoperable platform for researcher outputs.

We’ve also implemented ORCID authentication in HEPData. HEPData gathers its bibliographic metadata from Inspire, and Inspire pulls information on data related to publications from HEPData and displays it in the relevant author’s profile. There is already a direct connection to Inspire, so logging in with ORCID isn’t necessary to make this author-publication-data triangle possible. However, users now have the option of logging in with ORCID to access HEPData’s review and submission functions, providing a third party authentication choice that’s compatible with other scholarly systems.

At CERN, we were able to implement ORCID authentication straight out of the box, making it a simple and practical choice to offer our users for unifying and managing their scholarly identification needs.

ORCID Integration Series: PANGAEA

This is the first in a series of posts describing how THOR partners have recently integrated ORCID in their disciplinary data repositories. This post describes ORCID integration in PANGAEA, the Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science.

PANGAEA is rolling out a new version of its website. Developers and designers are currently ironing out a few remaining open issues. The release is expected for autumn 2016. Among major improvements in search, design, and usability, a key new feature is the integration of ORCID.

The new feature enables existing PANGAEA users to connect their PANGAEA profile with their ORCID iD, as demonstrated in the video below. 

With this connection, PANGAEA obtains the validated ORCID iD of its users from ORCID. By connecting their ORCID iD, users can also choose to sign in to PANGAEA using ORCID, as an alternative to signing in using PANGAEA user credentials. This can be handy when a user is already signed in to ORCID, or it is quicker to recall ORCID credentials.

Obtaining the validated ORCID iDs of its users is significant for PANGAEA as, contrary to a researcher’s name, the iD is unambiguous: two researchers with the same name can be distinguished by their respective iDs. The iD is also persistent through possible changes in a person’s name: the same researcher may change marital status, or their name may appear in different permutations, at times appear with full name, initials for first name, and with or without middle name (initial). Furthermore, the iD is actionable and can be used to discover information about the researcher.

For researchers, the greatest advantage of connecting their ORCID iD to their PANGAEA profile is that PANGAEA can then record the relationships between dataset publication DOIs and contributor ORCID iDs. This information is then shared with the global network of PID infrastructures, and researchers benefit from automated updates to their ORCID Record for data published at PANGAEA, gaining unambiguous attribution for published datasets and benefiting from greater credit for sharing data early.

Let’s take a look at how the ORCID integration in PANGAEA is making a difference to Dr Alice Lefebvre, GLOMAR Associate Scientist at the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences of the University of Bremen.

Alice has recently joined ORCID and decided to claim the 14 data publications deposited at PANGAEA that she has authored. As a consequence, Alice gains a more complete ORCID Record, one that does not just include her journal article publications but also her authorship in data publications a record that better reflects her true contribution to the scientific record. Alice was also surprised to learn about DataCite and the overview DataCite provides about her contributions.

The upcoming release of the PANGAEA website automates the sharing of information with the global network of PID infrastructures. Authors of datasets published at PANGAEA who have connected their ORCID iD, like Alice, will benefit from a workflow that ensures information appears automatically and accurately on their ORCID Record.

This shows how far the integration between disciplinary repositories and the global network of PID infrastructures has come over the past years, and how the persistent identification of contributors and research artefacts together with infrastructures that aggregate, process, and share information about persistently identified resources are driving and shaping 21st-century attribution, credit, communication, and measurement of scholarly activity.

Want to Know More?
Readers interested in performing an ORCID integration in their own disciplinary repository can find more information in our recent report, ‘Demonstration of Services to Integrate ORCIDs into Data Records and Database Systems.

ORCID Integration in Disciplinary Data Repositories

Researchers need to be linked to their data. Within THOR, we’ve been busy developing approaches to support the inclusion of ORCID iDs in disciplinary data repositories and data publication workflows.

The results are published in our latest report, ‘Demonstration of Services to Integrate ORCIDs into Data Records and Database Systems’ (10.5281/zenodo.58971), where you can read about the successful integration of ORCID in the databases and services of three THOR partners, each serving a distinct discipline: PANGAEA for Earth and Environmental Sciences, EMBL-EBI for Life Sciences, and CERN for High-Energy Physics.

These integrations were applied to live and operational production systems. This means that researchers in these disciplines are already benefiting from automated persistent identifier linking and linkage-information sharing within the global network of persistent identifier infrastructures.

The report describes the common experiences and challenges as well as the specific concerns each institution faced. These case studies can therefore serve as models for other institutions looking at integrating ORCID in their own systems and workflows.

As a companion to the report, over the next month PANGAEA, CERN, and EMBL-EBI will contribute to a series of posts on the THOR blog that summarise their recent advancements with ORCID integration. We will demonstrate the benefits of ORCID integration, and offer a practical guide to performing your own integrations. 

If you have any questions, please email for more information.