The Sweet Smell (and Taste) of Success: Incentivizing ORCID iD Sign-Ups Among Faculty and Graduate Students




Chan-Park, Christina Y.
Peterson-Lugo, Billie

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ORCID identifiers (ORCID iDs) are a persistent unique identifier for researchers and scholars and enable the automation of links to research objects such as publications, grants, presentations, data, patents and more -- a DOI for researchers and scholars. ORCID iDs also help research offices oversee the research activities of campus scholars. However, in order to reap the benefits of having a unique identifier, most scholars must sign up individually for a free ORCID iD. As ORCID iDs become the de rigueur id, institutions have an increased need for a record of their researchers’ ORCID iDs, and many who have the resources have joined as institutional members which allows them both to assign ORCID iDs and to mine information from the ORCID registry.

For example, in 2014 personnel at the Texas A&M libraries implemented a system, using the Vireo electronic theses and dissertations software, to mint ORCID iDs for more than 10,000 graduate students. They also assign ORCID iDs to any faculty who request one. (

The Baylor University Libraries do not have the resources to take on the assignment of ORCID iDs at this level. However, we know Baylor researchers are encountering the need to establish ORCID iDs when they submit articles for publication or apply for grants. We also see value in new researchers (graduate students) establishing ORCID iDs early in their research careers. Consequently, personnel in the Baylor University Libraries developed a cost-effective, low-tech ORCID iD campaign with input from ORCID. The campaign had two projected outcomes:

  • Raise awareness of ORCID iDs and their benefits with Baylor faculty and graduate students; and

  • Have at least 300 Baylor faculty or graduate students (10% of the research population) establish their ORCID iDs.

We believe that the concepts and processes we used for our ORCID campaign can be transferred to other institutions that face comparable resource challenges. This 24x7 presentation will cover the processes (and incentives) we used during our Spring 2015 campaign to entice faculty and graduate students to obtain ORCID iDs and to help them add content to their ORCID accounts. In addition, we will analyze the perceived success of the campaign and discuss our plans and ideas to keep the momentum going.



ORCID, scholarly communications, marketing, outreach