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This question is in continuation to the discussion from about a year ago, concerning researcher digital identification: Why use unique digital researcher ID?.

It appears that researchers, who would like to identify themselves within research community, today have two options: ORCID and ResearcherID. The former relies on open source code and open directory, while the latter is a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters, a for-profit company. It seems to me that ResearcherID is essentially a tool for Thomson Reuters for increasing information flow to their commercial systems Web of Science and Highly Cited Research.

If my observation is correct, then I'm interested about whether it makes sense to register with both directories (fortunately, ResearcherID seem to be compatible with ORCID)?

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    As a matter of principle I only registered for ORCID. But I do benefit from the fact that mathematicians typically do not use Web of Science so keeping a presence via Thomson Reuters is less important for me. – Willie Wong Sep 9 '14 at 9:13
  • @WillieWong: Thank you for your comment. It makes sense to me. – Aleksandr Blekh Sep 9 '14 at 9:20
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These two reseacher identifications fill somewhat different purposes, beside the point that one is more open (Orcid) and one more controlled (both with regard to access and data). Below, I've highlighted the main diffences I see:

Orcid provides a way to connect many different types of "outputs" with your profile, both by manually adding information or importing from a number of databases. Beside article publications you can also add posters, presentations, software, grants etc to construct a more full representation of your output, basically a full CV.

ResearcherID is more focused on connecting published journal articles with your profile, and this is mostly geared towards importing data from Thomson's Web of Science. However, since ResearcherID is connected to a citation database it also provides citation metrics in your profile, and in that sense overlaps with a personal Google Scholar page. Orcid does not provide this functionality (at least not yet).

Since the two identification systems contain different types of information (at least for the time being), it can make sense to use them both, and as you've noted an Orcid profile can be linked from a ResearcherID profile. In terms of visibility it is probably also useful to use both, since their user bases are likely to differ. If you do not want to support ResearcherID because it is a closed Thomson Reuters product, Orcid + a Google Scholar citations page would provide basically the same information (but based on a different citation database), but with the drawback of two separate pages/profiles. I can also imagine that used exclusively, ResearcherID will probably be more useful for researchers from STEM fields compared to researchers in the humanities and social sciences, since the cover in Web of Science is known to be poorer in the latter fields.

  • I just thought that it might make sense to include digital researcher ID (for example, ORCID) information in a final dissertation report. That way, an appropriate two-way connection between a researcher and her/his artifact will be established. However, I expect that this would need first to be approved by my Ph.D. program and then by an official dissertation repository organization (which, I believe, in US is ProQuest). What do you think about all this? Is it worth the effort? – Aleksandr Blekh Sep 9 '14 at 12:33
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    It would probably not hurt not include it in address/contact info, if you get the permission. At the same time, people that find your thesis interesting will probably go online and search for author + title, and if the thesis is included in your profile they will find the full profile either way. This would be marginally more difficult that to go directly to e.g. Orcid and enter your Orcid ID number. Therefore, I think including Orcid in your thesis works mostly as increased exposure for Orcid and is less important for the individual researcher. – fileunderwater Sep 9 '14 at 12:50
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    You're probably right. One potential benefit though would be, if dissertation repository organization and journals would parse digital IDs from artifacts and this info would automatically be populated into researchers' profiles. That's not me speaking, but a "lazy programmer" in me that wants to automate things as much as possible and feasible :-). But, seriously, another benefit of this approach is increased artifacts' metadata accuracy, which is a major pain point, at least, for research papers, as far as I know. – Aleksandr Blekh Sep 9 '14 at 13:02

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