Funding agencies, universities, and research institutes all face challenges of reliably identifying their researchers and monitoring outcomes over time. All researchers—and especially early career researchers seeking to establish their careers—need to be reliably connected to their research outputs, without the confusion common, changeable names creates. Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers supported by grants also have specific challenges: if they are not the PI, they are not included in grant information; they may not even know which grant(s) they are supported by; and as a result, the existing challenges of reliably tying publications to grant funding are even more problematic. The use of the unique, persistent ORCID identifier can help support outcomes tracking and evaluation.
In 2012, the U.S. National Institutes of Health Biomedical Research Workforce Working Group made recommendations that the NIH should take to support a sustainable biomedical research workforce in the U.S. In the course of its study, working group members were “frustrated and sometimes stymied” by the lack of quality, comprehensive data about biomedical researchers. In response, NIH has recommended the development of a simple, comprehensive tracking system for trainees, implemented a shared, voluntary researcher profile system called the Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv), and encouraged the adoption of unique, persistent ORCID identifiers for researchers. Additionally, NIH has begun collecting data about individuals in graduate and undergraduate student project roles who are supported by NIH grants.
Research universities like Texas A&M are also responding by incorporating the ORCID identifier into their systems, enabling the improved identification, data collection, and career outcome tracking of students and postdoctoral researchers--and educating these early career researchers about the benefits they will receive from a unique, persistent research identifier. They are also beginning to link Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) to early career researchers' ORCID records.
ORCID is an independent, non-profit organization that provides an open registry of unique and persistent identifiers for researchers and scholars. ORCID collaborates with the community to integrate ORCID identifiers into research systems and workflows, improving data management and accuracy across systems. ORCID enables interoperability between research systems worldwide, ensuring that researchers are correctly and automatically linked to their contributions. Since its launch in October 2012, ORCID has seen rapid adoption by more than 670,000 researchers and 130+ member organizations.
From Webinar 4/23/14, https://orcid.org/content/identification-early-career-researchers-how-universities-and-funding-organizations-are-using