Are you tired of searching for yourself in Google Scholar, Scopus, or Academic Search Complete and finding other people who share your family name? This is a serious problem for researchers, whose reputations rest on their publication history. Many researchers are working on ways to separate the agronomist Dr. Jones from the medical Dr. Jones from the archeologist Dr. Jones.

ORCID, a registry that will assign a unique ID to each author, is now live. But assigning a unique ID isn’t going to help unless EVERYONE uses that ID. Up until now, different companies and products have assigned ID numbers to their authors, but nobody else uses those numbers. That’s how authors have ended up with a Scopus ID, a ResearcherID, and a different institutional ID.

ORCID is different because it was built by a group of institutions and companies with the goal of solving the author disambiguation problem. Besides giving an author a unique ID, ORCID is building APIs that will let databases, granting agencies, and academic institutions share information about authors. Their privacy policy clearly describes what information is shared and how individual researchers can control that sharing.

ORCID is live, but they will continue to change and grow as new resources are added. Right now information can be moved from Scopus into ORCID. In the near future other databases will have the same ability. Register yourself in ORCID today!

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