ORCID identifiers are supposed to be for individual researchers, but there is concern that predatory publishers and journals are successfully registering for ORCID numbers, and using the numbers as a badge of legitimacy, a use that goes against ORCID’s mission and policies.
As a librarian, I have been promoting ORCID registration and use. The aims are most laudable. An ORCID ID provides a unique identifier to each researcher who signs up for one, enabling the disambiguation in databases of researchers with the same name. In much the same way that a DOI uniquely identifies a journal article, an ORCID ID points to a single researcher.
ORCID means Open Researcher and Contributor ID. Any individual researcher can sign up for one for free.
However, if journals and publishers are able to create and maintain ORCID accounts, is this a correct use of this information service, or is it commercial exploitation? The identifiers are not for publishers, but some publishers and journals have created accounts and listed their published papers as “personal” publications, perhaps to improve the search engine optimization for their predatory publisher websites. It is basically free advertising.
Here are ten examples of publishers, journals, and organizations that have ORCID accounts and identifiers. I reported two of these to ORCID, one in April, 2015 and one in September, 2015, but both accounts are still there, the issues unresolved.
- IJIER Journal = http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7829-9936
- International Journal of advanced studies in Computer Science and Engineering (IJASCSE) = http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2624-7859
- International Journal of Mechatronics, Electrical and Computer Technology (IJMEC) = http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6897-0933
- IJARIIE journal = http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2559-9924
- International Journals of Advanced Information Science and Technology = http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5942-8165
- Journal of Humanity = http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6382-7289
- Metacritic Journal for Comparative Studies and Theory = http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7209-1218
- Nature Publishing Group = http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1740-7803
- ELK Asia Pacific Journals = http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7679-970X
- SEO Training Institute in Delhi = http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5216-5734
The Wikipedia article for ORCID is also regretfully outdated. The organization indicates it has a Wikipedian in residence, and if he/she is still there, one would hope this information could be updated.
I hope that ORCID will be motivated to delete these improper accounts, keeping its database free of identifiers assigned to predatory journals.