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I plan on starting my PhD in a few years. Is there any particular time that I should register for an ORCID identifier? Can I do it now (still an undergraduate student), or should I wait for acceptance to a PhD program? Or, am I overcomplicating this and the time of registration doesn't matter?

This may seem like a basic question, but I couldn't find any information on the website.

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PhD is not the requirement to get ORCID identifier. You will need it mostly when you are ready to submit your research work in journals. In my area of research (Computer Engineering) most of the journal has made mandatory to have ORCID identifier.

  • Is there any negative impact if I create it several years early? I'd just like to be as prepared as possible for graduate life, and this is on my TODO list. – Chris Cirefice Mar 23 '17 at 1:23
  • There is no positive or negative impact if you make an ID several years earlier and if you are planing to start PhD you might need it within few months. I submitted my first SCI article in 5 months. – MBK Mar 23 '17 at 2:21
  • Since you can already enter your bachelor/master rhesis as publication in ORCID, you won't have an empty ORCID profile for too long. – FuzzyLeapfrog Mar 23 '17 at 5:30
  • @FuzzyLeapfrog & MBK, thank you for your answer and comments! – Chris Cirefice Mar 23 '17 at 13:53
  • @ChrisCirefice There is no reason to put this on a ToDo list. Publishers promote ORCID quite aggressively. Wait until you get an e-mail from a publisher asking you to create the ID. It will contain helpful links and you really don't need it before that. – Roland Mar 24 '17 at 7:47
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It's largely up to you when you create an ORCID identifier or even if you you do. Basically, it's a way to trace all of your future publications back to a unique identifier which is arguably very useful considering the massive number of articles available online and the likelihood of authors with similar names.

You can even register and ORCID ID after publishing and retroactively add your existing publications. However, it will be easier to keep track of them as you publish them. I created an ORCID ID after attending a library seminar recommending them at the beginning of my postgraduate studies, it didn't take very long to set up, and wasn't an issue sitting idle before I before submitted publications.

Another consideration is that some journals (e.g., BioMed Central journals) integrate with an ORCID ID in their submission portals. I'm not sure if they require them but it will at least save you considerable time entering contact information with each submission. So it will save you time when it comes to submitting publications or tracking them later but there's no harm doing in advance or leaving until you submit an manuscript (to a journal that recommends them).

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