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I recently got a paper accepted as a co-author in a relatively good journal. Now that we are at the finalizing phase, I got an email prompting me to give my ORCID identifier and to create one if I don't already have one.

Here is an excerpt from the email (emphasis mine):

Note that unless we have ORCIDs of all coauthors on file we will not be able to publish the manuscript, in case of acceptance. To avoid a delay in processing this paper, please take care of this at your earliest convenience.

You will receive this reminder on a weekly basis until you have authenticated your ORCID

I find this to be very annoying. It doesn't seem like I have suffered from not having an ID until today, why does that journal absolutely needs me to register on that thing?

  • Are you asking about the publishers' intention(s)? – FuzzyLeapfrog Mar 7 '17 at 19:29
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    You doesn't seem to have suffered from not having an ID until today, but other people did, e.g., when papers are misattributed by databases because of equality of names. – Massimo Ortolano Mar 7 '17 at 19:37
  • @MassimoOrtolano all the other journals to which I submitted my work until now seemed to have been able to handle these issues. – Cape Code Mar 8 '17 at 17:56
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Not only publishers start to collect/request/demand ORCIDs more and more but also institutions.

What is it all about?

It's about bibliometrics and author profiles. Being able to identify an author and its publications is useful for the institution and its authors. Authors benfit by having an accurate and complete publication list, even if they change the institution. Authors and institutions benefit because bibliometrics become more accurate, e.g. the author's h-index or the list of publications affiliated to authors of an institution.

Why are publishers taking action?

We hope that our action inspires the community, including researchers, research funders, and research institutions, to join us in adopting ORCID and making it easy for researchers to connect their iD to their contributions and affiliations. source

Publishers want to enhance their services for authors by including ORCIDs in the publishing workflow.

Why are publishers making ORCIDs a requirement?

One reason I can think of is that they want ORCIDs because bibliometrics, especially impact factors, are important for them and the enterprise(s) providing the impact factor(s) are also interested in author specific factors like the h-index. Additionally, I assume, publishers also want to know and present who publishes in their journals. Think about a publisher stating that a nobel prize winner published most in their journals.

Overall, ORCIDs solve a lot of the problems regarding author identification, which benefits authors (named Smith or Wang or ...) and institutions. ORCID itself is a nonprofit organisation. So far, I haven't thought so much about the benefits for the publishers to make ORCIDs a requirement. Maybe there are different/more reasons.

  • I think your last point is by far the most important: an ORCID is a unique identifier for an author and much more useful than a name for all sorts of things (e.g. recommending papers to readers, managing author/reviewer accounts), as anyone who has ever done any database design will be able to appreciate. – arboviral Mar 8 '17 at 10:14
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    @arboviral That's true, but the question is not why ORCID or author identifieres in general are useful but why are publishers forcing authors to have an ORCID. – FuzzyLeapfrog Mar 8 '17 at 10:40
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    I might not have made my point as clearly as I could have above: I think publishers are forcing this because it makes their databases tidier - at least more so than because they want to track publications by Nobel prize winners. I think the point about bilibometrics such as H index is a good one, though. – arboviral Mar 9 '17 at 13:18

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