I know a number of people called Tony Davies; in fact, a column we publish in Spectroscopy Europe was co-edited by two Tony Davies’s for many years (although they did look different)! Confusion over the actual identity of an author is commonplace: even their affiliation may not help as people move around during their careers. What is needed is a way of unambiguously identifying an individual author.
ORCID is an organisation established to do just that. It enables authors to have their own unique identification number. You can join ORCID and register your own ORCID iD at no charge. Having done so, you can populate your own ORCID Profile—essentially your own mini webpage—with information about yourself as well as listing publications you have authored.
The real value in this comes when journals that you have published in provide a link to your ORCID profile: not only can readers be certain as to your identity, they can also see what else you have published with one click.
There are also significant benefits in data mining of publications, when authors can now be unambiguously identified. Rather like individual journal papers have been through their unique Digital Object Identifier (DOI).
JSI includes ORCID iDs in the online abstract pages with hyperlinks to the authors’ ORCID profiles. We can also update our database with ORCID iDs for authors who register one later. Another advantage is that when we register the DOI for the paper you are publishing in, we include your ORCID iD with your name and affiliation and this is then used automatically to update your ORCID profile with the JSI paper that has just been published.
If you do not yet have an ORCID iD yet, I suggest you head over to https://orcid.org and sign up: it’s quick and free. Then make sure you use your ORCID iD in your work.
“Publish or perish” has been a saying for some time, although “publish and disappear” could also be a danger, but with ORCID this should be easier to prevent.