ACCESS | Asia 's Newspaper on Electronic Information Product & Service
March 2010 No.72  
   In this issue

ORCID: resolving name ambiguity in scholarly research

Leading members from the research community have announced their intent to collaborate to resolve the author name ambiguity problem in scholarly communication. Together, the ORCID group hopes to develop an open, independent identification system for scholarly authors.

Accurate identification of researchers and their work is one of the pillars for 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. A disambiguated set of authors will allow new services and benefits to be built for the research community by all stakeholders in scholarly communication: from commercial actors to non-profit organizations, from governments to universities.

"Unique and open author identification in cyberspace is the first step in creating the appropriate recognition system such that all one's scholarly output can be uniquely identified and credited whether it be through journal articles, database depositions, wiki postings etc. Optimistically it could catalyze the next phase of development in eScience," said Prof Philip Bourne a UCSD Professor and Editor in Chief of PLoS Computational Biology.

Thomson Reuters and Nature Publishing Group convened the first Name Identifier Summit in Cambridge, MA, in November 2009, where a cross-section of the research community explored approaches to address name ambiguity.

"At the dawn of a new age of discoveries in physics, where experiments that probe the structure of the universe are carried out by international teams of scientists that number in the thousands, correct attribution of research contribution is of crucial importance. I welcome this joint initiative of stakeholders in scholarly communication to work together on these issues." said Prof. Rolf Heuer, Director General of CERN.

Collectively, these organizations agreed on the importance of working together to overcome the contributor identification issue facing the global research community: American Institute of Physics, American Psychological Association, Association for Computing Machinery, British Library, CrossRef, Elsevier, European Molecular Biology Organization, Hindawi, INSPIRE (project of CERN, DESY, Fermilab, SLAC), Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries, Nature Publishing Group, Public Library of Science, ProQuest, SAGE Publications Inc., Springer, Thomson Reuters, University College London, University of Manchester (JISC Names Project), University of Vienna, Wellcome Trust, and Wiley-Blackwell.

ORCID, Open Researcher and Contributor ID, has its website here.

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