The Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) is a registry of unique identifiers for researchers. It is open, non-proprietary, community-driven, and free of charge.
Registration provides you with an ORCID iD. This persistent identifier serves three purposes

  • It uniquely and unambiguously identifies you as a researcher throughout your career and distinguishes you from every other contributor
  • It provides a record of your scholarly works
  • It facilitates communication with other research information systems such as those managed by the university, research funders and publishers

Using your ORCID iD ensures that your work is unambiguously attributed to you. It may also alleviate your administrative burden by reducing the need to enter information more than once. Using your ORCID iD can lead to more accurate impact metrics.

It is likely that ORCID iDs will be mandated in the near future for submissions to the next REF and by research funders. NIHR and the Wellcome Trust already require an ORCID iD for grant applications.

A unique identifier
An ORCID iD is a unique identifier that is not unlike digital object identifiers (DOIs) used for scholarly publications. It attaches your identity unambiguously to your research outputs — these could be datasets, articles, conference papers, monographs, patents, notebooks, art works and more. An ORCID iD helps you to distinguish your research activities from others with similar names. Your iD is not affected by name changes, cultural differences in name order, inconsistent first name abbreviations or the use of different alphabets.
Your information in one place
In your work you must interact with an increasing variety of research information systems, from SHU’s system for research management (Converis) to systems used by research funders (eg  the Joint Electronic Submission System and Researchfish for research funded by the Research Councils). There is also an abundance of manuscript submission systems used by publishers. Entering the same data over and over again can be time-consuming and frustrating. Using your ORCID iD may help to alleviate this administrative burden.

You own your record of contributions. You can maintain all of your key information in one place and control your own privacy settings, including what information is displayed publicly, what information is shared only with trusted partners and who those trusted partners are.

A likely UK standard
ORCID iDs are likely to play a key role in the UK’s research environment. A report commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), The Metric Tide(2015), recommended that ORCID iDs should be required for any grant application and REF submission. The report also recommended that publishers should mandate ORCID iDs for all article submissions and display this information in the final published version. Research funders requiring ORCID iDs

In the UK, NIHR and the Wellcome Trust currently require an ORCID iD for grant applications. Journals and publishers requiring ORCID iDs

On 1 January 2016 eight publishers signed an open letter stating they will require ORCID iDs for all corresponding authors starting in 2016. These publishers are: The Royal Society, PLOS, eLife ()published by the Wellcome Trust), EMBO Press, American Geophysical Union, IEEE, Hindawi and Science journals (published by the American Associatoin for the Advancement of Science).

  • A unique identifier that connects your identity unambiguously to your work
  • Easy to set up and maintain – ORCID will update your list of works from any connected database
  • Saves time filling out forms
  • Improves the reliability of metrics relating to your work
  • Helps you to be prepared – ORCID iDs may become a requirement for grant applications and REF submissions, and in some cases already are
How to start using your iD
Setting up your ORCID iD only takes a couple of minutes. There are three simple steps:

  • Register for an ORCID iD at http://orcid.org
  • Connect your iD to your work (see below)
  • Use your iD in grant applications, manuscript submissions, publications, datasets, Elements and  SHURDA, profile web pages and more

You can easily connect your iD to your work by connecting to databases such as Scopus, Web of Science, CrossRef, Europe PubMed Central, MLA International Bibliography and DataCitef for datasets with a DOI. Connecting your iD to these databases will automatically populate your list of works and keep them up to date. You can also add new works manually.


We are currently using ORCIDs in the University’s publications management system Elements, in the institutional repository SHURA and our archive for research data SHURDA. You are strongly encouraged to use your ORCID.

A key thing to do with your ORCID is to add and connect it to your Elements profile.

Adding your ORCID to Elements has several benefits, including that it enables Elements to automatically claim publications based on your ORCID and add the details of them to your Elements profile.  Please note that to ensure that you meet the REF Open Access requirements and other requirements,  you need to make sure that you deposit your manuscripts in Elements on acceptance. Find out more on our help pages about Elements.

  • Add your ORCID to your Elements profile by going to: Menu > Manage > Publications > Automatic claiming
  • On the ‘Automatic claiming’ page, Elements will suggest identifiers which may be yours, one of which may be your ORCID. You can choose to accept the suggested ORCID by clicking on the ‘Yes’ button next to it (do double check that it is the correct iD first). If the ORCID is not yours, you can choose ‘No’ or ‘Ignore’.
  • If Elements does not suggest an ORCID for you, go to ‘Add external profiles’ and click on ‘ORCID’. You can then add your ORCID details

Adding your ORCID will enable Elements to automatically claim any publications it finds in external databases where your ORCID is in the metadata. The additional step of Connecting your ORCID (which means you log in to ORCiD and give Elements the permission to use ORCID data), enables Elements to use the information on your ORCID profile to claim publications as yours in Elements.

  • If your ORCiD has been added to your profile but not yet connected you will be prompted to Connect your ORCiD to Elements under ‘My Actions’ on your Home page. We strongly advise you to do this.

You can also set up other identifiers to assistant with automatic claiming and change your search setting to maximise the help that Elements can give you.  Find out more on our help pages about Elements.