Elements integrates with ORCID

5th March 2014

Being able to effectively and consistently link yourself to your research is not only convenient, but also vitally important if you want your work to be discovered.

Since its launch in October 2012, the ORCID registry has issued over 500,000 unique identifiers to help researchers and scholars keep track of their outputs and other “works”.

By the end of 2014, the ORCID team hope to triple this figure to 1.5 million ORCID ID’s and today Symplectic is pleased to announce its own contribution to this most important of causes by becoming one of the first ORCID members to use Authenticated ID’s to transfer data from the ORCID registry to an institutional information management system.

From today, all ORCID members who run Symplectic Elements v4.8 or above at their institution will be able to advise their researchers to link their Elements account with the ORCID registry in one single step; thereby liberating them from the often tedious re-entry of metadata; all thanks to the inherent benefits of linked unique persistent identifiers!

Secure integration

As part of our first ORCID integration, researchers are able to link their ORCID account with Elements. This has been achieved using OAuth – a secure verification protocol that will authorise Elements to access a researcher’s ORCID account. This access can be revoked at any time.

Configuring ORCID is really easy, simply click ‘configure’ next to the ORCID data source and you’ll be greeted with an authentication screen to either login or register with ORCID.


Once the accounts have been linked, Elements will periodically search ORCID for a researcher’s “works” containing a DOI, PubMed ID or Scopus ID. Using these identifiers, Elements will then collect trusted metadata from some of our other data sources including PubMedScopus and CrossRef and automatically associate this harvested data with a researcher’s Elements account. In keeping with our company’s philosophy, all “works” will be automatically marked as claimed and no manual intervention is required.


Ensuring high quality data

As the level of duplicates in ORCID is still quite high – check out their most popular feature request – we have opted to harvest only unique publication identifiers. This approach was taken to ensure that the quality of data contained in Elements remains high and so that any unnecessary verification of data imported from the ORCID registry is avoided.
As more and more researchers incorporate ORCIDs within their day-to-day research practices, it is hoped that researchers who move to a new Elements subscribing institution in the future will only have to authenticate their ORCID account to transfer all information about their works.
We’re really pleased with our integration and would encourage any UK client considering to apply for the recently advertised JISC and ARMA pilot projects to take a look at our integration and contact us if they wish to know more about how it works … and why!

Looking ahead

In the future, we would like to import works from the ORCID registry that don’t have a persistent identifier into a user’s Elements account, but we’d like to consult more widely with clients on this matter due to data quality concerns. We would also like to enable Elements to be used as a source to update a researcher’s ORCID account, but again, we want to ensure this is done in a manner that minimizes the burden on the researcher.

More recently we have started to see ORCID identifiers appear in the metadata we harvest on behalf of clients from our various data providers, including CrossRef. As this phenomenon grows, having a clear verified association between an Elements user and their ORCID will help us to more accurately offer links to their data (Publication data, Grant data, Datasets etc.) and to create and suggest appropriate links between data, regardless of whether the user’s ORCID profile is currently populated.

These are exciting times for the linked data community and we’re so very grateful to the ORCID team for their support throughout our initial integration.

Growing the community

Linking Elements with ORCID is a very important step for us, and we want to encourage all of our users to update their ORCID accounts or for those who have yet to register to do so either on their own or through their institution. Contribution is key to ORCID, if we can help expand the community by raising the profile and potential of ORCID to the 100,000+ researchers who use Elements, it will mean richer ORCID profiles, a larger database of research works and ultimately easier disambiguation.


ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-based effort to provide a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers. ORCID is unique in its ability to reach across disciplines, research sectors, and national boundaries and its cooperation with other identifier systems. Find out more on their website.