ORCID ID is officially launched as a digital identifier for NZ researchers

New Zealand has become the latest country to adopt a national approach to the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (or ORCID) platform.

The New Zealand ORCID Consortium was officially launched last week.

It is expected to help close the loop on New Zealand’s research system, allowing for up-to-date records of researcher contributions and evaluation of the research system.

ORCID is a global not-for-profit organisation created in 2012 to solve the problem of name ambiguity in research by creating a registry with a unique identifier for each researcher, like a national health number but for researchers.

Thousands of researchers in New Zealand have already registered for an ORCID ID so their research contributions can always be correctly linked back to them.  They will soon be able to have their funding, and their organisations, authoritatively added as well, thanks to the newly launched New Zealand ORCID Consortium.

The president of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Emeritus Professor Richard Bedford, said researchers, research institutions, publishers and funding bodies routinely face the problem of accurately linking research publications, data and other research activities to the right researcher.

The use of unique persistent identifiers would allow research work to be correctly attributed to its creator and funding sources and better connect to data systems, supporting best research practice.

“At present, it’s prohibitively expensive to be able answer a question such as ‘15-years on, what have the recipients of a particular scholarship or fund achieved?’. This is because it is very difficult to track down recipients and to see what research contributions they have made in the intervening time. A system like ORCID, once widely adopted, makes answering these sorts of questions routine. This data will support decisions on how to best support the research community in New Zealand.”

Researchers, who maintain control of what research contributions are recorded against their ID, benefit by being able to access an up-to-date record of all their research contributions. They could then provide this to journals or grant organisations, avoiding the need to re-enter information.

Ideally, all students embarking on research will be issued with an ORCID ID when they are first at a tertiary institution.

The New Zealand Government has charged the Royal Society of New Zealand with leading implementation of ORCID in this country.

Ten New Zealand organisations signed a joint statement of principle to use the ORCID platform and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has agreed to pay the consortium fee and meet within-country costs to allow eligible New Zealand organisations to join. This support covers the society’s ORCID work programme, including consortium membership subscriptions for up to 99 New Zealand organisations, and a software development work programme to create a New Zealand ORCID hub that will allow organisations of all scales and technical resource to productively engage with ORCID.

The Consortium has 34 founding members –  the Royal Society of New Zealand, Motu Economic & Public Policy Research Trust, Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Titanium Industry Development Association, Auckland University of Technology, Leather and Shoe Research Association, Lincoln Agritech Ltd, Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic, Victoria University of Wellington, Waikato Institute of Technology, Aqualinc Research Ltd, Ministry of Education, University of Waikato, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, Universal College of Learning , GNS Science, Auckland District Health Board, Cawthron Institute, Opus Research, University of Canterbury, CRL Energy Ltd, NIWA, University of Otago, Hutt Valley District Health Board, Ministry for Primary Industries, AgResearch, Landcare Research, the Tertiary Education Commission, Health Research Council of New Zealand. Lincoln University, The University of Auckland, Capital and Coast District Health Board, Waitemata District Health Board, and Ara Institute of Canterbury.

Commitments to join have been made by Massey University, Plant & Food Research, and the Eastern Institute of Technology.

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