No votes yet
Professional Issues

Online Registries for Researchers: Using ORCID and SciENcv

Mark Vrabel
CJON 2016, 20(6), 667-668 DOI: 10.1188/16.CJON.667-668

The Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) registry helps resolve name ambiguity by assigning persistent unique identifiers that automatically link to a researcher’s publications, grants, and other activities. This article provides an overview of ORCID and its benefits, citing several examples of its use in cancer and nursing journals. The article also briefly describes My NCBI and the Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv) and its connection to ORCID.

At a Glance

  • Nurses are often asked by employers and funders to document publications, grants, and other scholarly activities.
  • The Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) is beneficial and convenient for documenting these activities.
  • The Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae can be linked to ORCID and used as part of the grant application process.

Attempting to identify all of an author’s publications can be problematic given all the potential name variations. Middle names and initials may or may not be present, hyphenated surnames may be presented inconsistently, and married and maiden names may vary. The Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) was created to help resolve such name ambiguity by assigning unique identifiers (akin to social security numbers for authors) for individual researchers and authors, as well as institutions, such as universities, publishers, and funders. ORCID (2016b) is an open, not-for-profit organization that provides a registry of persistent unique identifiers for researchers and scholars that links to publications, grants, and patents. ORCIDs are free to obtain and use and can be included on manuscripts submitted for publication and on grant applications or any online professional profiles. The IDs facilitate data exchange with other identification systems, such as Scopus.

The Scopus database allows searching by an author’s ORCID, ResearcherID, VIVO, and CrossRef, and can ease the grant submission process and increase efficiency for clinicians and their patients for other uses, like digital repositories and data sharing (Leopold, 2016). PubMed includes ORCIDs within citations; on November 9, 2016, a search of “orcid[auid]” retrieved 79,091 citations, and that number continues to grow. ORCID seamlessly integrates with various online tools that display scholarly activities, publications, and social media mentions; for example, Altmetric (www.altmetric.com) has an ORCID search field, and Impactstory (www.impactstory.org) includes the ORCID as part of the URL. Benefits of this are helping to solve problems with name ambiguity, being free to register for and use, having user-controlled privacy settings, facilitating the research discovery process, and having auto-update functionality.

Use of ORCID

ORCID use is increasing across multiple journals. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON) authors are already using ORCIDs. For example, as of November 2016, a nurse at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center includes the CJON article “Increasing Certification Through Unit-Based Education” (http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3940-2368), an associate professor at Keio University includes the CJON article “The Need for a Nursing Presence in Oral Chemotherapy” (http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6814-9894), and the current author’s page includes the CJON article “Is Ondansetron More Effective Than Granisetron for Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting? A Review of Comparative Trials” (http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7371-4483). The Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal registration form for subscribers, authors, and peer reviewers (http://bit.ly/2eRVsYD) states that ORCIDs can only be assigned by the ORCID Registry and that their standards must be followed for expressing ORCIDs and the full URL must be included. A list of publishers that began requiring ORCIDs for authors in 2016 can be found at http://orcid.org/content/requiring-orcid-publication-workflows-open-letter.

Professional societies have representatives on ORCID groups. As of August 2016, the American Physical Society is part of the Communications Steering Group and the American Mathematical Society is part of the Technical Steering Group (ORCID, 2016a). The Modern Language Association (MLA) is at the forefront of ORCID collaboration via MLA BibLink (http://biblink.mla.org). After considering several ORCID integration options (Thomas, Chen, & Clement, 2014), MLA decided on MLA BibLink, which allows users to search the MLA International Bibliography for an author’s works (including works published under variant names) and to add, with a single click, works to the user’s ORCID profile. Works can be removed from profiles at any time, and the privacy controls allow users to determine which works are visible to whom. Additional information is available at http://youtu.be/rJa9SvkD2jk.


Most people are aware of My NCBI and have set up personal accounts at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/account to enhance searching of PubMed and other databases. My NCBI allows users to save searches and results and automatically email search results on a regular basis, and has other features, such as helping manage peer-review article compliance with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy (National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2014). It also is used to create a Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv) profile (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sciencv).

SciENcv is particularly essential for participation in federally funded research, but it is useful beyond that as well; the current author has a biosketch at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/mark.vrabel.1/cv/77402 that not only displays the ORCID but also uses it to easily import citations in the Contribution to Science section. Instructions on importing into SciENcv from ORCID the personal statement, education, employment, publications, and research awards information stored in ORCID records are available (Hutcherson, 2014). SciENcv supports the biosketch format that can be used for NIH and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality grant applications submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2015, and can upgrade biosketches stored in the previous NIH format (NCBI Resource Coordinators, 2016). Information on creating and maintaining SciENcv profiles is available at http://youtu.be/PRWy-3GXhtU.


Nurses are being asked by employers and funders for more information than ever about their scholarly activities, and ORCID and SciENcv enhance reporting. ORCID is not the only identification system, but is well established with nearly 2 million IDs as of January 2016 (Leopold, 2016) that are associated with more than 4.5 million digital object identifiers (DOIs) for papers and datasets (Meadows, 2016). A DOI is assigned by the publisher and provides an actionable, interoperable, and persistent link to the Internet location of an article or other publication. For example, its auto-update functionality conveniently allows nurses to submit a paper or dataset that has CrossRef or DataCite authorization, formalizing the ORCID identifier–DOI connection when the work is published and automatically updating the ORCID record (Meadows, 2016).

In a 2015 survey of about 6,000 people (Armstrong & Meadows, 2015), nearly 62% of respondents with ORCIDs believed that ORCIDs are important and 43% were asked to supply their ORCIDs the last time they submitted an article. Inclusion of an ORCID as part of the manuscript submission process is usually not mandatory but may be part of the instructions for authors page for certain journals and publishers. Libraries often have ORCID workshops and webpages or blogs, and librarians often encourage physicians, nurses, and other researchers to create ORCID and SciENcv pages, offering assistance as needed. For example, the Duquesne University Gumberg Library hosts an online tutorial (http://guides.library.duq.edu/scholarlyprofile). This free resource is an excellent starting place for those who are interested in learning more and is designed as a seven-day challenge for users to improve the dissemination and profile of their publications.


Armstrong, D., & Meadows, A. (2015). ORCID survey, 2015: Preliminary findings. Retrieved from https://figshare.com/s/c6dd960c918111e59d6806ec4b8d1f61

Hutcherson, L. (2014). My NCBI—ORCID author data integration with SciENcv. NLM Technical Bulletin, 400, e9. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2fPdVZJ

Leopold, S.S. (2016). Editorial: ORCID is a wonderful (but not required) tool for authors. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 474, 1083–1085.

Meadows, A. (2016). Everything you ever wanted know about ORCID . . . but were afraid to ask. College and Research Libraries News, 77, 23–30. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2euJzvS

National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2014). My NCBI help. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2f6cwu8

NCBI Resource Coordinators. (2016). Database resources of the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Nucleic Acids Research, 44, D7–D19.

Open Researcher and Contributor ID. (2016a). ORCID community. Retrieved from http://orcid.org/about/community

Open Researcher and Contributor ID. (2016b). What is ORCID, Inc? Retrieved from http://orcid.org/faq-page

Thomas, W.J., Chen, B., & Clement, G. (2014). ORCID identifiers: Planned and potential uses by associations, publishers, and librarians. Presented at the annual conference of the North American Serials Interest Group, Fort Worth, TX. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2fIKi8A

About the Author(s)

Mark Vrabel, MLS, AHIP, ELS, is an information resources supervisor at the Oncology Nursing Society in Pittsburgh, PA. The author takes full responsibility for the content of the article. No financial relationships relevant to the content of this article have been disclosed by the editorial staff. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Oncology Nursing Society. Vrabel can be reached at mvrabel@ons.org, with copy to editor at CJONEditor@ons.org.