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What is ORCID?

An ORCID iD is a unique persistent identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and ensures that your work is correctly attributed  by linking you to your professional activities, grants, publications and outputs.

Your ORCID iD belongs to you and not to the institution that you work for. It is independent of publishers and funders - it can follow you wherever your research takes you. You retain it throughout your career, even if you move institution, change your name or use different variations of your name. You get to decide what information you associate with it, who can see this information and which other organisations can add information on your behalf.

By registering, you receive a unique 16 digit identification number.You may have already seen researchers displaying their ORCID identifier like this:

You can view an example here:

Who should get an ORCID iD?

If you are involved in research and are publishing the outputs of your research, you should register for an ORCID iD.

It is also a good idea to register if you are starting your research career or if you are a postgraduate student who may be publishing as part of your PhD research.  

Benefits of ORCID

An ORCID iD is for life: if you change institutions anywhere in the world, you take it with you, unlike employer or publishers identifiers. Having a unique persistent identifier protects your scholarly identity and ensures all grants, publications and outputs are correctly attributed to you.

Having an ORCID iD…

  • Eliminates name ambiguities and confusion

    This is a common problem across the research landscape, especially if your name appears on outputs as different variants or if your name is shared with or similar to other researchers. Citations to your papers can get lost or you can be credited with citations from the wrong papers. By associating your publications and research outputs to your ORCID iD, this can be avoided and they become more discoverable.

  • Saves time

    As ORCID is increasingly integrated into other systems such as those for manuscript submissions and funding applications, it will become quicker and smoother to share profile details and publication data between systems. This will cut down on repetitive data entry and the time it takes when going through these processes.

  • Improves discoverability

    You can easily associate your identity to all your research outputs using your ORCID iD so no article, dataset, citation, media story or publication can be incorrectly attributed again, making sure that all your research activities and outputs are easily discoverable.

  • Meets Funder & Publisher requirements

Increasingly ORCID is being adopted by funders and publishers, and it has been recommended that ORCID iDs become mandatory for the next REF.

  • Many funders now request that grant applications include ORCID iDs. Major funders such as RCUK, Wellcome Trust and EC Horizon 2020 are capturing ORCID iDs during the application process in order to correctly identify and track their grants and related outputs to the correct researchers.

  • Over 1000 journals, including publications by PLOS, Nature and Elsevier, now use ORCID in their manuscript submission and peer reviewing processes, making it easier for you to manage and input your information during this process, and ensure the work is correctly attributed to you. Using your ORCID iD also means that your profile can be automatically updated by the publisher once your manuscript is accepted and then later published.

More about ORCID

ORCID (Open Researcher & Contributor ID) is an open, non-profit, community-driven effort to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a method of linking research-related items, such as articles and datasets, to these identifiers. 

ORCID is unique in its ability to reach across disciplines, research sectors and national boundaries. It is a hub that connects researchers and research through the embedding of ORCID identifiers in key workflows, such as research profile maintenance, manuscript submissions, grant applications, and patent applications.  

The ORCID organisation is funded through membership however individuals can make use of  it free of charge. Current members include government agencies, universities and research organisations, publishers, funding agencies, learned societies, manuscript tracking services and database providers. 

You can sign up here:

Contact Us

If you have any questions about ORCID or would like assistance or further information, you can contact

ORCID: An Introduction

ORCID as a hub


ORCID on Twitter


Many thanks to Karen Rowlett of University of Reading Library for allowing the re-use of content from her ORCID LibGuide: