ORCiD auto-updates from Crossref: What this means for Elements users

6th October 2015

In the last few weeks, it was announced that Crossref will soon be able to automatically update ORCiD records. The DOI-registering network will now be able to push data about publications (and other research outputs) into ORCiD, the unique researcher identifier system.

As mentioned in the announcement:

“authors with an ORCID iD will be able to have Crossref automatically push information about their published work to their ORCID record.”


Previously, the updating of an ORCiD record has relied on manual researcher entry, or integrations with other data sources, to link their works to their record. The update process thus far has been quite straightforward; upon publishing a research paper, a researcher selects their recent publications via Crossref, and ORCiD will then populate the relevant information in the researcher’s record.

The new auto-update functionality, however, means that Crossref now pushes complete, disambiguated metadata into a researcher’s ORCiD record, without having to manually approve a list of publications.

This is fantastic news for researchers, as it reduces a significant amount of data entry in order to keep an up-to-date ORCiD record – a highly useful tool for global, cross-disciplinary researcher identification.

Elements, ORCiD and Crossref

This will be an even better development, though, for Elements users that have an ORCiD record. This update brings a significantly improved link between the researcher and their publications within Elements. Currently, Elements asks users to ‘claim’ a publication as their own when it finds them from its various data sources. While this is an easy, one-click process, even this part can be skipped when there is an ORCiD profile linked.

When Elements queries the Crossref database for researcher records, providing their ORCiD ID along with the query, it returns the publication metadata into the researcher’s Elements profile and automatically claims it for them. For researchers with a large amount of unclaimed work, this will save a significant amount of time and effort. As always, by using high-quality, disambiguated data, the results are also highly accurate. And this now ensures that researchers don’t have to manage data in two different systems; once ORCiD has been updated, Elements will be too.

Elements’ extensive profiling capabilities are enhanced by the features this development brings. This development has further added to our industry-leading ORCiD integration that we introduced in 2014, with Crossref and ORCiD both complementing each other’s functionality to become more powerful.

The Future

We’ve already seen ORCiD takeup increase in institutions around the world – over 1.6 million researchers currently have an ID registered. With this new integration, the number of associated works in these 1.6 million records will surely increase, thereby furthering the mission of ORCiD to link researchers with their works.

A great example of this positive momentum is from the University of Cambridge, which has seen over 200 researchers voluntarily link an ORCiD identifier to their Elements profile. As well as this, Imperial College London now has over 1400 researchers using Elements with ORCiD.

As we move forward as a company, we’ll be exploring what this means for our products and our community. We’ll be looking into how we can automate more processes throughout our products, further reducing the fatigue of administration that researchers often face in updating multiple profiles, and streamlining as much of their workload as possible.

We hope to see more ORCiD integration with data sources in future, as its global proliferation continues. This is a really positive development for the research community, and we look forward to seeing how it further encourages the growing ORCiD movement.