Home 9 Full Text Articles 9 Biz of Digital — Librarians Promoting and Supporting [email protected]

Biz of Digital — Librarians Promoting and Supporting [email protected]

by | Sep 30, 2021 | 0 comments


By Yingting Zhang, MLS  (Research Services Librarian, Robert Wood Johnson Library of the Health Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 1 RWJ Place, MEB 101, New Brunswick, NJ 08901;  Phone: 732-235-7604)    http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0757-1837

Column Editor:  Michelle Flinchbaugh  (Acquisitions and Digital Scholarship Services Librarian, Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery, University of Maryland Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250;  Phone: 410-455-6754;  Fax: 410-455-1598) 

Against the Grain Vol. 33#4


ORCID stands for Open Researcher and Contributor ID.  It is an open, community driven non-profit organization that provides a unique and persistent digital identifier known as ORCID iD that can be used to distinguish an individual researcher from others.1  Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey adopted a university-wide implementation of ORCID in October 2017. 

Founded in 1766, Rutgers University is a large public research university with $750.8 million of research grants and sponsored programs, and a history of over 250 years.2  The university is located in three cities which are New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden.  As one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the nation, Rutgers has over 71,000 students from 50 states and over 125 countries.  It has 8,700 faculty, nearly 15,000 staff, and over 1,200 international scholars from more than 80 countries.3  By implementing [email protected], the university helps build an integrated research environment and joins the ORCID research community.  In the process of planning, implementing, and promoting ORCID, Rutgers librarians played an important role in collaboration with other stakeholders.  This article showcases the librarians’ experience and role in this initiative. 

Rationale for ORCID Implementation

ORCID provides many benefits to registered researchers.  Name confusion has been known as a big problem for researchers.  ORCID helps solve the name ambiguity issue by providing each ORCID registrant with an ORCID iD which distinguishes him or her from other researchers with similar names.  In collaboration with various stakeholders in the research community, ORCID provides not only a registry of unique identifiers for researchers but also an API that allows research communities to integrate the identifiers in research systems.  With its capabilities of interoperability with various other research systems, ORCID iD connects researchers and their research activities throughout their careers.  Because ORCID iDs can be integrated with various research systems via its API, ORCID helps to ensure that a researcher’s scholarly works are properly attributed and recognized.  Furthermore, many federal and other funding agencies require grant applicants to use ORCID iDs when submitting proposals.  For example, The National Institutes of Health (NIH), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) require individuals supported by research training fellowship, research education, and career development awards have ORCID iDs effective FY 2020.4  Many publishers also require authors to use ORCID iDs when submitting manuscripts in their submission systems.  For example, Wiley mandated the use of ORCID iD for authors for its biomedical journals in 2016.5  Our institutional repository SOAR (Scholarly Open Access at Rutgers) can be connected with ORCID through a university-wide implementation.  The scholarly works deposited in SOAR can be pulled into the researchers’ ORCID profiles.  Grant applicants and progress reporters can use the data transported from ORCID into SciENcv (Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae), a researcher profile system,6 to create NIH or National Science Foundation (NSF) biographical sketches, reducing much repetitive and tedious data entry work.  By joining the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) ORCID Consortium, Rutgers is able to be an institutional member of ORCID at a discount rate. 

Implementing [email protected]

Rutgers University Senate charged the Researcher, Graduate, and Professional Education Committee (RGPEC) to investigate ORCID, identify benefits, and make recommendations for implementation in terms of processes, timeline, personnel, and expenses.  In February 2016, after reviewing the RGPEC report, the University Senate unanimously passed a resolution for a university-wide implementation of ORCID.7  The Senate Resolution was soon signed off on by then University President, Dr. Barch who was “persuaded of the value of issuing ORCID iDs both to individual researchers and the university.”8  Afterwards, the ORCID Implementation Working Group was established and Rutgers joined the BTAA ORCID Consortium. 

The ORCID Implementation Working Group was chaired by the then Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, Dr. Krisellen Maloney.  It was comprised of representatives from these key units: Office for Research, Office of Information Technology (OIT), Office of Institutional Research & Academic Planning (OIRAP), Office of Enterprise Risk Management, Ethics, and Compliance, Rutgers University Libraries (RUL), School of Graduate Studies, and University Human Resources.  With collaboration and hard work, the Implementation Working Group had a soft launch of the project in April 2017.  During that period of time, [email protected] was tested and improved based on feedback.  On October 18, 2017, it was officially launched. 

While the Working Group was planning and implementing ORCID iD, an Outreach Team was formed with three librarians who served on the University Libraries Research and Scholarly Environment Working Group (RaSE WG).  These librarians were the Scholarly Open Access Repository Librarian (Jane Otto who is retired), the Open Access Specialist (Laura Bowering Mullen), and the Health Sciences Research Services Librarian (Yingting Zhang) who chaired RaSE WG at that time).  The Outreach Team worked diligently to make plans for advocating, promoting, and supporting ORCID iDs implementation at Rutgers.  The Team made comprehensive communication plans with the RUL central communications office.  It created an ORCID website (Rutgers University Libraries 2021) posting information related to ORCID for RU researchers — https://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/research-tools-and-services/research-impact/orcid.9  To promote [email protected], the Team prepared brochures and handouts to introduce what ORCID was, what benefits researchers could get from ORCID, how to register for an ORCID iD, and how to populate the ORCID profiles, etc.  These promotional materials were posted on the website and also distributed via email lists.  The Outreach Team  conducted brown-bag and train-the-trainer sessions for other librarians to reach out to the researchers of the schools and departments that they liaise with.  The Team also prepared boilerplates for the liaison librarians to adapt and develop presentations and instructional sessions on ORCID.  We also gave presentations to the research development professionals at the Office for Research, and to the research administrators and assistants in various centers and institutes within the university.  For researchers, we provided one-on-one consultation and troubleshooting for specific problems.  With one librarian retired, the two remaining librarians of the Outreach Team are the contact people to answer all kinds of questions concerning ORCID raised by faculty, students and staff.  Recently, several workshops were taught specifically on  how to populate ORCID data in SciENcv to develop NIH and NSF biosketches for grant applications and progress reports. 

Integrating ORCID iDs in Rutgers Systems

The technical aspects of implementing ORCID iDs were managed by Rutgers OIT who integrated the ORCID API with the university personal information application by inserting an additional tab for ORCID in the platform which requires users to log in with Rutgers NetIDs.  When they click the  ORCID tab, users are prompted to either create an ORCID account if they do not have one yet or to connect their existing ORCID iD to NetID.  After the two sets of IDs are connected, a federated single sign-on to access ORCID using Rutgers NetID is enabled.  Users are able to log in ORCID with either the ORCID login information or Rutgers NetID.  The single sign-on option makes it easy for researchers to access and update their ORCID profiles and this saves them time.  The integration also enables the researchers’ ORCID iDs to be displayed in the Rutgers public online directory, which increases their research visibility and enhances opportunities for research collaboration. 

To provide the researchers with an easy-to-follow process for connecting their ORCID iDs to  NetIDs , the Outreach Team created several step-by-step tutorials with illustrations.  These instructional materials are made available on the
[email protected] website — https://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/services-for-researchers/orcid/faq-and-help.

Current Status

Many researchers at Rutgers have registered for ORCID iDs.  At the time of writing, the total number of registrants using Rutgers emails was 9,631, and among them 4,171 researchers have connected their ORCID iDs to Rutgers NetIDs.  Registered researchers have their ORCID iDs displayed in their profiles in the databases that are integrated with ORCID via APIs, such as Scopus, a bibliographic database covering multiple disciplines, and other research systems such as Pivot which is a resource of funding opportunities as well as researcher profiles.  More and more researchers or their delegates are utilizing the data from ORCID in SciENcv to develop biosketches for submitting NIH or NSF grant applications or progress reports.  Our Institutional Repository SOAR has recently been migrated to a new Research Information System (RIM).  Integration of ORCID API in the new SOAR platform is in progress.  The university continues to explore opportunities for potential integration of ORCID. 

Even though we have nearly 10,000 researchers who registered with Rutgers emails, only about half of them have connected their ORCID iDs to Rutgers NetIDs.  This does not meet our goal of an 80% participation rate as recommended in the RGPEC report.  Reasons for not connecting varied according to a faculty survey conducted by the Implementation Working Group in April 2019 to evaluate the success of this initiative.  The survey results revealed that 57.40% of the 730 respondents had registered; only about half (46%) of the respondents who registered had their ORCID iDs connected to NetIDs.  This near 50% participation rate is still the current status.  Some respondents commented that they did not know what ORCID was.  Some were not convinced why they should want an ORCID iD.  Some others indicated that they would need help.  Clearly not all the researchers are clear about the benefits of ORCID.  More outreach efforts will be made to raise awareness of ORCID.


With collaborative efforts from the key stakeholders of the university, [email protected] was successfully implemented.  The university libraries and librarians played a major role in the outreach and promotion of [email protected] to make researchers aware of ORCID iDs and adopt them.  We will continue making efforts to advocate and promote ORCID.  We hope that with more outreach and promotion, more researchers will better understand, appreciate, and adopt ORCID iDs.

Acknowledgement:  This article is based on a presentation at MLA’20 and an ORCID US Community Showcase Webinar.  


1. ORCID.  2021.  “ORCID: Connecting Research and Researchers.”  Accessed April 27.  https://orcid.org/.

2. Rutgers, The University of New Jersey.  2021a.  “About Rutgers.”  Accessed April 17.  https://www.rutgers.edu/about-rutgers.

3. Rutgers, The University of New Jersey.  2021b.  “Rutgers, By the Numbers.”  Accessed May 5.  https://www.rutgers.edu/about/by-the-numbers.

4. National Institutes of Health (NIH), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  2019.  “Requirement for ORCID iDs for Individuals Supported by Research Training, Fellowship, Research Education, and Career Development Awards Beginning in FY 2020.”  [Notice].  National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Last Modified July 10, 2019.  Accessed March 12.  https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-19-109.html.

5. Citrome, L.  2016.  “Open researcher and contributor ID: ORCID now mandatory for Wiley journals.”  Int J Clin Pract 70 (11): 884-885.  https://doi.org/10.1111/ijcp.12912https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdfdirect/10.1111/ijcp.12912?download=true.

6. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.  (2021?).  “SciENcv: Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae.”  Accessed March 12.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sciencv/.

7. Rutgers University Senate.  2016.  “S-1505 on Implementing ORCID Identifiers.”  Accessed April 25.  https://senate.rutgers.edu/report/charge-s-1505-on-implementing-orcid-identifiers/.

8. Barch, Robert.  2016.  “Response to S-1505.”  Accessed May 9.  https://senate.rutgers.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/RLB-Response-S-1505-May-2016.pdf.

9. Rutgers University Libraries.  2021.  “ORCID.” Accessed May 6.  https://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/research-tools-and-services/research-impact/orcid.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Share This