An ORCID number is a unique identifying code that a researcher keeps throughout their professional career. It’s quick and easy to register and receive your ORCID number (or iD) from the ORCID website. Names can change and middle name initials may be used, or perhaps not, and all of this makes identifying an individual researcher potentially quite difficult, especially if you add in the complication of a more common name or surname. Hence the reason for having an ORCID iD. Increasingly, funders are stipulating that researchers must have an ORCID iD at the point of submitting their funding applications.
Yesterday, ORCID published their ORCID Open Letter – Funders which outlines the benefits to researchers of having an ORCID iD and also named the funders who have signed up to implementing ORCID iDs in at least one workflow in accordance with their Best practices for funding organizations. So far there are nine funders listed including the Wellcome Trust, the Royal Society and UK Research and Innovation but expect the list to grow.