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International researcher identifier ORCID is making headway in the Nordic countries


PICTURE: MINNA ALA-MANTILA/CSC

ORCID, the organization administrating international researcher identifiers, held a workshop for Nordic ORCID consortia in Espoo on 29 May 2018. The event was hosted by CSC. The workshop participants were informed about new development projects, and the representatives of Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway reported on the take-up of the researcher identifier in national and university services.

Research data management is well advanced in the Nordic countries, and national publication and research databases thus exist in all of them. The integration of ORCID in national services has also been promoted, and such actors as research funding providers, universities and ministries have used it for building interoperable services.

Similarly to the other Nordic countries, Finland also has an active and growing ORCID consortium which, for example, makes it possible for the members to integrate the identifiers in their research data systems. Researchers may authorize the automatic transfer of their data to their ORCID profiles and further to other services they use. In Denmark, it has been found that the identifier facilitates the mobility of a researcher's data, especially when they are changing organizations.

Using ORCID identifiers is also topical from the perspective of the National Research Information Hub being developed by CSC. The aim is to use ORCID identifiers as unique IDs for researchers and give researchers the possibility of personally authorizing the research data warehouse to search for and link their data. In many national systems, identification is currently based on the researcher's name. This practice is awkward, as there may be several researchers with the same name, more than one variant of a name may exist, and sometimes a researcher may change their name.

ORCID'S new development project, ORBIT, which enables transfers of funding data from the funding provider to the researcher's ORCID profile, also attracted interest at the workshop. Additionally, ORCID is planning to develop a functionality through which researchers could generate CVs or publication lists for their funding applications in the ORCID service. The Finnish research data warehouse and the project data warehouse to be used as one of its source systems would in the future serve as a broker between Finnish funding providers and the ORCID service. At the same time, Finland could become established as an international pioneer in the national utilization of the ORCID identifier.

For more thoughts about the benefits of the ORCID researcher ID and the workshop discussions, read the blog by Information Specialist Aija Kaitera (University of Helsinki) at https://blogs.helsinki.fi/thinkopen/orcid-nordics-workshop-2018/#more-206.


The National Research Information Hub will serve as a repository for metadata on, for example, publications, research data, research infrastructures, researchers, projects and research groups. As part of the Research Information Hub, a project data hub will be implemented, in which information on projects financed by different research funding providers will be collected. CSC is implementing the Research Information Hub by commission of the Ministry of Education and Culture. Read more about the Research Information Hub at research.fi.