Workshopping ORCID and Public Access Requirements



Last Friday, we had the pleasure of hosting another workshop for colleagues across the Library and the Office of Sponsored Projects, titled: What would you say? ORCID and Public Access requirements from funding agencies. This is part of the Open Dartmouth Working Group’s workshop series that addresses how to talk with faculty about emerging issues, tools, and the scholarly communication ecosystem. The purpose of the workshop was to talk about public access requirements for federally funded work, as well as introduce participants to ORCID–one of the resources that can help facilitate a smoother process as scholars strive to share their work openly and accurately.

Scholars at Dartmouth and institutions across the United States are facing new requirements to make the results of their publicly funded research available openly online.  Publicly funded research might come from agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Institutes of Health (NIH),  and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). One thing that each of these agencies have in common is that they all have different/unique mechanisms or processes by which they want scholars to share their data and publications, so fulfilling the requirements can be confusing for both faculty and the staff that assist them. There are new tools and services emerging to enable scholars to meet these requirements as well as streamline the process. One such tool is ORCID,  a registry of unique IDs for scholars’ names. Scholars who create an ORCID can disambiguate themselves from other scholars with the same name and also connect their ORCID with resources such as CrossRef and MLA Bibliography. This allows them to use their ORCID to pull in their unique work accurately into one place where they can then present it easily with funders and publishers. During the workshop today, we gave participants time to create their own ORCID so that they could encounter questions or problems that the faculty with whom they work might encounter when creating their own ORCID.  Here are a couple of key questions that came up:

  1. Somehow I’ve created two ORCIDs.  What does ORCID do about duplicates?
    1. If you inadvertently created more than one ORCID (this happens fairly often), you need to email the ORCID Support team to merge them. You can avoid creating a duplicate record by using your email address to search for yourself in ORCID.  Searching my name won’t work for most people since there are probably other scholars with the same name (that’s why having an ORCID is so great!)
  2. Why would I want an ORCID?  How does it benefit me?
    1. It can be frustrating and time consuming when you are working with tools that inaccurately harvest publications of other scholars’ work who share the same name. ORCID works more selectively than other systems that don’t use unique identifiers. Also, publishers and funding agencies are beginning to require  ORCID, so it’s a step that you may have to take eventually anyway.

The second part of the workshop was an overview of funding agencies’ public access requirements. In response the Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research mandate,  many government agencies and foundations (e.g., the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) have released their guidelines around meeting public access requirements.  Last week’s workshop took a closer look at DOE, NIH, and NEH.  Colleagues from the Office of of Sponsored Projects (OSP) spoke about the NIH requirements since many of the researchers with whom she works come from biomedical communities. Staff within OSP are excited that ORCID provides a way for researchers to connect to other systems (e.g. National Center for Biotechnology Information), which ask for access to a scholars’ accurate research record. ORCID will make it easier for OSP staff to accurately represent the scholars with whom they work. Librarians at Kresge Physical Sciences Library are knowledgable about the Department of Energy (DOE) requirements because of their patrons are often seeking funding from DOE. DOE has quite a developed system for fulfilling public access requirements in that the were the first agency to build a repository (PAGES) for work that they fund.

Like many publishing, copyright, and scholarly communication workshops that we host, we answer many questions and discover new ones. Fulfilling public access requirements is an important and complicated conversation, and I imagine that the Scholarly Communication Program will be hosting more workshops across disciplines to keep people informed and alert them to changes across funding agencies and how they approach public access.

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