The organization ORCID, or Open Research and Contribution ID, has created unique digital identifiers with the mission of improving information flow by allowing researchers to be linked to all of their research activities, including publications, data sets, affiliations with research institutions, and grants. ORCID is a non-profit organization, and individuals can register for free. The IDs are added to author names in journal articles, so that H. G. Lee is not mistaken for H. Lee, for example. Registrants have control over all of the information shared and can make changes and updates at any time. There are already over 3,000,000 ORCIDs registered, and more than 600 scholarly libraries, research institutions, funding agencies, and publishers currently use these IDs to track data. ORCID numbers can be easily linked to other researcher IDs, such as Scopus and ResearcherID. No more spending precious hours of research time trying to mine your computer for your last three successful grant applications.
And no more worrying about whether the papers you wrote before you changed your legal name from Snotty Pants (thanks, mom and dad!) to Sarah Parks are lost in cyberspace. For more information, go to https://orcid.org/.