What’s In a Name?
SSR plays a key role in making a big impact on scholarly research
The non-profit ORCID – which stands for Open Researcher and Contributor ID – is close to launching a registry that could mean an end to name ambiguity in scholarly communications.
"Author attribution has been a challenge in the research ecosystem for many years," explains Dave Kochalko, vice president of Product and Market Strategy for IP & Science and an ORCID board member. "Contributing factors include common surnames, publisher practices like publishing only authors’ first initials with their last names, the mobility of researchers, and routine name changes due to marriage or divorce."
Thomson Reuters is a founding member of ORCID, which was established in 2010 to solve the name ambiguity problem. The organization will soon launch a registry of unique identifiers for individual researchers, as well as an open linking mechanism between ORCID and other author identification schemes.
The ability to link these identifiers to a researcher’s output would enhance the scientific discovery process as well as improve collaboration and the efficiency of research funding.
The Role of Researcher ID
"The SSR business has been working on name disambiguation for many years now, ranging from algorithm creation of 'author sets' in Web of Science based on citation relationships, to our ResearcherID product," says Ellen Rotenberg, Senior Innovation Product Manager. "Authors needed a unique identifier that would assist in proper attribution no matter where they publish, how many jobs they have or whether they change their name."
"With ResearcherID, early on we became convinced we had built a valuable resource for generating and assigning IDs to individuals,"
Making the Registry a Reality
Kochalko continues, "So, we engaged with the broader community of stakeholders – other publishers, funding organizations, universities and individual researchers – and ultimately have been successful in creating a global organization focused on building and sustaining a persistent registry of scientists and scholars from all disciplines."
Thomson Reuters has played a leading role in an initiative with the potential to shape the future of scholarly research.
"The single most demonstrable action we have taken that showcases Thomson Reuters as a thought leader has been the licensing of critical intellectual property in the form of software code to ORCID," says Kochalko. "This code formed the foundation of the registry service that’s scheduled to go live in October."
“Nearly 300 organizations from some 40 countries are engaged with ORCID today. On this trajectory, ORCID has the kinetic potential to become the global standard identifier for scholars, and in doing so will enable Thomson Reuters and others in the research ecosystem to deliver solutions with greater precision and value to our customers,’ adds Kochalko.