Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID)

The Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID) is a unique, permanent, numeric identifier for researchers. With the help of the ORCID, research output can not only be clearly associated with a person, but also, for example, affiliations to organizations, training, project funding, reviewer and committee activities can be documented. One of the most important aspects in an ORCID record is the list of all publications, including monographs, journal articles, research data, software etc.. In this way, trustworthy institution- or employer-independent biographies and publication lists are created.

An ORCID consists of 16 digits separated by a hyphen in groups of four, the last digit being a check digit. The structure of the ORCID thus corresponds to the ISO standard 27729. It is generally used as a URL, for example:

A person who creates an ORCID record has full control over what information is recorded and who can see it. Only the ID itself is always public. Additional descriptions of a person can include other names (aliases), the country, keywords, websites such as social media channels and multiple email addresses. For each entry in the ORCID record - even for each individually listed work - it is possible to specify individually who can see it. Either it is not visible to anyone, only accessible to a certain circle (ORCID members) or completely public.

The main benefit of ORCID for researchers is, firstly, the clear identification and assignment of publications. In particular, persons with frequently occurring names - such as Michael Müller or Sabine Schmidt - can be clearly identified and located. The second important benefit is the availability of a complete list of publications in a central location, which is not tied to a specific employer.

ORCID's open system offers a wide range of integration options that are available, for example, for research workflows such as manuscript submissions to journals or for system-to-system processes for updating publication lists from PID systems such as DataCite, Crossref and BASE or scientific institutions. In addition to DOIs for the permanent referencing of scientific objects, the permanent linking of scientists and scholars to their research output  via ORCID is an important prerequisite for transparent, open and efficient scholarly communication and for improving the handling of research information.

If you do not yet have an ORCID, you can register your ORCID here, free of charge. Although in the first step it is sufficient to register only with a first name and an email address, only ORCID records filled with information and appropriate visibility settings enable the advantages mentioned above.

Institutions wishing to successfully implement ORCID can do so with the support of the ORCID DE Consortium. Further information can be found here: