Why I use ORCID
ORCID is a so-called PID (Persistent Identifier), so basically a fixed address for researchers. ORCID stands for Open Researcher and Contributor ID and gives researchers a fixed number. Mine is 0000-0001-8973-1544 and here is why you need one too.
What is ORCID?
ORCID is a non-profit organisation that offers a unique identifier for researchers to clearly identify them. It is basically a free database service, where you can add personal information, your affiliations, publications, projects, funding and much more to your own profile page. You can have a look at my profile page here to see how it looks.
It is also possible to decide for every information with whom you want to share it. You can make it publicly visible, visible only to trusted parties or only for yourself. Some services allow you to login with your ORCID credentials, immediately identifying you and your work. ORCID is not the only service that offers this (see for example Publons), but I would say it is the most used one.
Why I use ORCID?
Good question! It started out as a place where I simply could collect my publications and research-related information. I also start to see, that it makes sense to include your ORCID in every publication, as affiliations and therefore Email addresses change. If I have a lifelong ID, I can take this with me whereever I want and if people ever search for me, they will easily find me. This is even more important with people who change their names or have a very common name.
It is also possible to use the data stored in ORCID for various services. So for example, I have a page with personal information, I have a profile at my university, I have a Research Gate account and much more. It is a bit tedious to enter a new publication everywhere. My hopes are high, that a service like ORCID can provide this in the future, so I do not have to enter new information on nearly a dozen platforms. I also have full control over it. Also, if I change universities at some point, I still have my information even if my profile at the university gets deleted.
Why you should use ORCID too?
So why you should use it too? Well, basically because of all the points mentioned above. If you are a researcher, also a very young one, you should create a free ORCID account and put that number everywhere: on your profile pages, in your publications and even in your job applications. If you are web developer in a scientific field or manager of a infrastructure facility (university, library, etc.), you should also include the option to login with ORCID as a standardised identifier. The more facilities use this number the more it will become the standard.
You can give it a try!