There are more than 27 million researchers worldwide working at public and private institutions and universities (Karakawa & Takeda, 2012). Often, a lack of standardization of researchers' names (common names, changing how they sign articles over the course of a career, etc.) and the names of their institutions (U. Europea, Universidad Europea, Univ. Europea, etc.) can make it difficult to find or identify them, and reduces their visibility.
There are different systems for identifying researchers which can link each author to their publications, identify collaborators and favor the process of scientific discovery.
The ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a 16-digit identifier which gives researchers a persistent, unique code to distinguish their scientific production, providing a space for registering their work, and if they choose, sharing it.
This open initiative (for registering individual researchers) began in late 2009, supported by leading publishers (Nature Publishing Group, Elsevier, Hindawi, etc.) and research institutions (CERN, MIT, CalTech, etc.).
Advantages of ORCID for researchers:
It identifies their academic contribution and intellectual production.
It lets researchers log in with their individual IDs in Scopus, WoS (Web of Science) and CrossRef, and transfer their publication data automatically from these portals to ORCID.
Each researcher registered on ORCID can add academic data and links to their own websites and blogs.
It simplifies the task of evaluating research.
It integrates the ORCID identifier in working cycles, such as sending articles to publishers for publication.
Kurakawa, K., & Takeda, H. (2012). An introduction to ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID). Journal of Information Processing and Management, 54, 622-631.