What’s an ORCID iD and Why You Should Consider Getting One

Are you a researcher (or an aspiring one)? Have you seen something called ORCID? Even if you haven’t, this quick post will explain what’s an ORCID iD and why you should consider getting one. 

A Quick Bit of Background

During my first week as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, I met Robin Sinn – a colleague of mine and Coordinator of the Office of Scholarly Communications. She was the first one who told me about ORCID. I had no clue what it was before. Learning about ORCID and getting an ORCID iD is one of the most valuable things I did for my professional career at the start of my postdoctoral position.


Keep reading!

What’s ORCID?

ORCID is a non-profit organization who aim is to provide a unique identifier for all researchers.

What’s ORCID iD?

ORCID iD endeavors to be a universal identifier for researchers. Your ORCID iD is made up of 16 letters and numbers. Mine is 0000-0001-9846-904X. No two researchers can have the same ORCID iD.

Why I Find ORCID iD Useful

I personally find ORCID iD useful for two main reasons:

  1. Names: For my Ph.D. dissertation and certain grants (e.g., Wenner-Gren), I was required to use my full legal name (Smiti Nathan Staudt) even though I go by ‘Smiti Nathan’ in academic settings. My ORCID profile displays the various names you might find my work under, which I find really helpful.
  2. Interoperability: You have the option to connect your ORCID account with other accounts and numbers (e.g., SCOPUS ID, CrossRef Metadata Search, etc.). I love that ORCID iD will automatically update my page with my recent publications that are linked to these external accounts. I really appreciate that I don’t have to manually enter all items.

Why You Should Consider Getting an ORCID iD

If you’re debating on whether or not to get an ORCID iD, here are three reasons why I think you should:

  1. It’s easy and open: There is not a high learning curve when it comes to creating and maintaining your ORCID iD. You can sign up in under a minute and it took me less than 15 minutes to set up the content in my profile and link my other numbers and accounts. Also, it’s free to sign up and the community and development behind it strongly rooted in the open source movement.
  2. YOU are in control: As I mentioned before, some of my academic works are listed by another name. Some researchers have the same name as other researchers and linking academic works by name alone causes a great deal of confusion. With an ORCID iD,  you won’t be confused with anyone else. This helps you control your academic presence. Also, even with all the useful interoperability features, you are control of your profile and all updates must be approved by you.
  3. Everyone’s doing it: While typically not a good reason for doing something, it is in this case. Funding agencies are increasingly asking for you to list your ORCID iD as part of applications. This signals that these profiles might be checked out as part of the evaluation process. Also, journals are linking authors with their ORCID iD’s. This especially helps researchers and their work become more discoverable.

Closing Thoughts

ORCID iD alleviated some personal identification issues on my end, but I was happy to find out how ubiquitous is becoming in the research world. I feel like opting into this platform is worth it and can only help your research career.

Do you use ORCID iD? Post your code iD in the comments section and I will check you out!

Use the QR code above or check out my link here:


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Smiti Nathan

I’m an archaeologist that travels around the world for both work and pleasure. I have a penchant for exploring ancient and modern places and the people, plants, and foods entangled in them. I write about archaeology, travel, and productivity.



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