ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a nonproprietary alphanumeric code to uniquely identify scientific and other academic authors and contributors. This addresses the problem that a particular author's contributions to the scientific literature or publications in the humanities can be hard to recognize as most personal names are not unique, they can change (such as with marriage), have cultural differences in name order, contain inconsistent use of first-name abbreviations and employ different writing systems. It provides a persistent identity for humans, similar to that created for content-related entities on digital networks by digital object identifiers (DOIs).
The ORCID organization offers an open and independent registry intended to be the de facto standard for contributor identification in research and academic publishing. On 16 October 2012, ORCID launched its registry services  and started issuing user identifiers.
ORCID was first organized as the "Open Researcher Contributor Identification Initiative". A prototype was developed on software adapted from that used by Thomson Reuters for its ResearcherID system. The registry is now an independent nonprofit organization, ORCID, Inc., incorporated in August 2010 in Delaware, United States of America, with an international board of directors. Its executive Director, Laure Haak, was appointed in April 2012. As of 2015[update], the board is chaired by Ed Pentz of CrossRef. ORCID is freely usable and interoperable with other ID systems. ORCID launched its registry services and started issuing user identifiers on 16 October 2012. Formally, ORCID IDs are specified as URIs, for example, the ORCID for John Wilbanks is http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4510-0385. However, some publishers use the short form, e.g. "ORCID: 0000-0002-4510-0385". (As a URN)
ORCID is a subset of the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI), under the auspices of the International Organization for Standardization (as ISO 27729) and the two organizations are cooperating. ISNI will uniquely identify contributors to books, television programmes, and newspapers, and has reserved a block of identifiers for use by ORCID, in the range 0000-0001-5000-0007 to 0000-0003-5000-0001. It is therefore possible for a person to legitimately have both an ISNI and an ORCID – effectively, two ISNIs.
Both ORCID and ISNI use 16-character identifiers, using the digits 0–9, and separated into groups of four by hyphens. The final character, which may also be a letter "X" representing the value "10" (for example, Nick Jennings' ORCID is http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0166-248X), is a MOD 11-2 check digit conforming to the ISO/IEC 7064:2003 standard.
The aim of ORCID is to aid "the transition from science to e-Science, wherein scholarly publications can be mined to spot links and ideas hidden in the ever-growing volume of scholarly literature". Another suggested use is to provide each researcher with "a constantly updated ‘digital curriculum vitae’ providing a picture of his or her contributions to science going far beyond the simple publication list." The idea is that other organizations will use the open-access ORCID database to build their own services.
It has been noted in an editorial in Nature that ORCID, in addition to tagging the contributions that scientists make to papers, "could also be assigned to data sets they helped to generate, comments on their colleagues’ blog posts or unpublished draft papers, edits of Wikipedia entries and much else besides".
In April 2014, ORCID announced plans to work with the Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information to record and acknowledge contributions to peer review.
In an open letter dated 1 January 2016 eight publishers, including the Royal Society, the American Geophysical Union, Hindawi, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, PLOS, and Science, committed to requiring all authors in their journals to have an ORCID iD.
By the end of 2013 ORCID had 111 member organizations and over 460,000 registrants. On 15 November 2014, ORCID announced the one-millionth registration. As of 21 July 2017, the number of registered accounts reported by ORCID was 3,650,875. The organizational members include many research institutions such as Caltech and Cornell University, and publishers such as Elsevier, Springer, Wiley and Nature Publishing Group. There are also commercial companies including Thomson Reuters, academic societies and funding bodies.
Grant-making bodies such as the Wellcome Trust (a charitable foundation) have also begun to mandate that applicants for funding provide an ORCID identifier.
In several countries, consortia, including government bodies as partners, are operating at a national level to implement ORCID. For example, in Italy, seventy universities and four research centres are collaborating under the auspices of the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI) and the National Agency for the Evaluation of the University and Research Institutes (ANVUR), in a project implemented by Cineca, a not-for-profit consortium representing the universities, research institutions, and the Ministry of Education. In Australia, the government's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australian Research Council (ARC) "encourage all researchers applying for funding to have an ORCID identifier".
In addition to members and sponsors, journals, publishers, and other services have included ORCID in their workflows or databases. For example, the Journal of Neuroscience, Springer Publishing, the Hindawi Publishing Corporation, Europe PMC, the Japanese National Institute of Informatics's Researcher Name Resolver, Wikipedia, and Wikidata.
Some online services have created tools for exporting data to, or importing data from, ORCID. These include Scopus, Figshare, Thomson Reuters' ResearcherID system, Researchfish, the British Library (for their EThOS thesis catalogue), ProQuest (for their ProQuest Dissertations and Theses service), and Frontiers Loop.
ORCID also announced today that Thomson Reuters has provided ORCID with a perpetual license and royalty free use of ResearcherID code and intellectual property, giving ORCID the critical technology to create its system
Josiah Carberry is a fictitious person.
It’s official! 1M of you have an ORCID iD! We thank the community, and look forward to continued collaboration.