ORCID: Issues and concerns about its use for academic purposes and research integrity

Teixeira da Silva, Jaime A.

Abstract

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) was launched in 2012 as an initiative to fortify the validity and integrity of academic publishing through author name disambiguation. Less than a decade later, this portal is being actively promoted in an attempt to ensure that academics adhere to this permanent identifier. Without a doubt, a complete, up-to-date and authentic ORCID has value, not only to a researcher, but to the academic community because it allows facilitated online submissions, and links to funding agencies and other profiles. The mandatory requirement of an ORCID account for the submitting or corresponding author, sometimes for all authors, is becoming more common during the submission of manuscripts to ORCID member journals. Not only are there issues pertaining to academic freedom, or unfair treatment of those without an ORCID, there are other highly pertinent, unpalatable, and contentious issues related to ORCID that need greater attention and debate. These include the inconsistent implementation of ORCID among co-authors, the existence of empty or “ghost” ORCID accounts that are uninformative and thus of limited use, and the plausible abuse of ORCIDs to register potentially fake elements. These issues would not only reduce trust in ORCID, which is actively promoted as a tool for maintaining science’s integrity, they may land up weakening a publishing system that was meant to be fortified by this initiative. They may also hurt the reputation of valid ORCID users who share a platform with “ghost” ORCID accounts or with fake authors, or authors whose identities are unverifiable.

Keyword(s)

ORCID; Academic integrity; Identifiers; Author identifiers

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