Concerns about Dirty Data in the ORCID Database

ORCID Logo

Also connecting predatory journals?

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.

  1. IJIER Journal = http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7829-9936
  2. International Journal of advanced studies in Computer Science and Engineering (IJASCSE) = http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2624-7859
  3. International Journal of Mechatronics, Electrical and Computer Technology (IJMEC) = http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6897-0933
  4. IJARIIE journal = http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2559-9924
  5. International Journals of Advanced Information Science and Technology = http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5942-8165
  6. Journal of Humanity = http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6382-7289
  7. Metacritic Journal for Comparative Studies and Theory = http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7209-1218
  8. Nature Publishing Group = http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1740-7803
  9. ELK Asia Pacific Journals = http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7679-970X
  10. 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The Wikipedia article for ORCID is also regretfully outdated.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.

15 Responses to Concerns about Dirty Data in the ORCID Database

  1. Miranda YEOH says:

    Thanks for all the mails I received. Are there ways to remove predator journals that do not bother to do a proper review from the places where they are indexed? They are very attractive to researchers in the middle East and other developing countries. It’s so much easier to publish in them and get impact factor points, than to publish in my local online journals that do not hesitate to tell me to improve my papers, and do not give impact factor points, although indexed by Scopus.

    Thanks again. Please continue to email. Dr. Miranda YEOH

  2. Reblogged this on Blog do Pedlowski and commented:
    Mais uma interessante contribuição do Prof. Jeffrey Beall sobre as áreas cinzas que conectam ciência legítima e trash science a partir de pontos normalmente tidos como inexpugnáveis.

  3. Sudesh Kumar says:

    Surprising to see nature publishing group in the list… It seems no publisher is above rapproch…. At one time or another everyone stoops.

  4. Phillip Helbig says:

    “Are there ways to remove predator journals that do not bother to do a proper review from the places where they are indexed? They are very attractive to researchers in the middle East and other developing countries. It’s so much easier to publish in them and get impact factor points, than to publish in my local online journals that do not hesitate to tell me to improve my papers, and do not give impact factor points, although indexed by Scopus.”

    Quite frankly, I am puzzled by much of the discussion here. In particular, it is not a good idea to submit to a journal one does not know, and if one does know it, it should be obvious from the quality, or lack thereof, whether the journal’s standards are high. As for being predatory, even high-quality journals can charge too much for publication. Impact factor points? How are they measured? If the journal has a high impact factor, but is low quality, then this impact factor is not something one should be proud of. It might mean that only, perhaps even bogus, citations from other low-quality journals are counted.

    If you work in a field, you know what the good journals are, so publish there. If people with more “impact” from dodgy journals are getting the jobs, then the employer is doing something wrong and I wouldn’t want to work there.

  5. Hi Jeffrey
    Thanks for your recent post about organizational records in ORCID. I’ve been trying to post a comment, but keep getting an error message: “Sorry, this comment cannot be posted”. I’m logged in using my WordPress account so I’m not sure why this is happening.
    The comment I’d like to post is: Thanks for flagging this up. We will be working on addressing organizational records in early 2016. We’ve noted the ten you list here and, if you or anyone else find additional organizational records, please use this form to submit details to us: https://members.orcid.org/contact (please select “Disputes” in the Help Area) Please can you help?
    Thanks, Alice (Meadows)
    Director of Communications, ORCID

  6. JPC says:

    ORCID and DOI are not more than moneyboxes.
    The email address is unique, why then one would need ORCID?
    DOI is useless: if one should pay for DOI and then should maintain websites alive, what does DOI serve for? Isn’t just to collect money? It is.

    • JATdS says:

      About 2-3 years ago, all online submission systems of journals I submitted to had no requirement for ORCID, either when registering for submission to a journal, or for submission to the journal itself. Now, almost every one of the same journals displays the ORCID option (for registration and submission). For now, in every single one of those journals, ORCID is optional. For the reasons indicated above, I do not support ORCID, nor do I have an ORCID number, nor do I see any advantage in having one. We should be extremely worried when one day journals will make ORCID obligatory rather than optional. Because on that day, we will have effectively militarized science.

      • JPC says:

        I also do not see any utility for ORCID except for tracking people and collecting money. All journals have been operating well without ORCID or DOIs. These are new sources to generate money and capitalize science.

      • Bobo says:

        “…on that day, we will have effectively militarized science.”

        ??? What ???

    • Phillip Helbig says:

      It costs nothing to get an ORCID ID, so why do you mention money?

      The point of DOI is that a DOI doesn’t change, where a website can, and often does.

      • Winterz says:

        1) “It costs nothing to get an ORCID ID, so why do you mention money?”
        Researchgate cost ‘nothing’ neither, but it win thousands dollar per month! It just sells your profile to any buyer and spam others!

        2) “The point of DOI is that a DOI doesn’t change, where a website can, and often does”. If this is really the case, why then the DOI policy requires that the journal or website issuing DOIs must be online or active all time?
        Sometimes, websites evolve or change names or break completely, what then would be the status of DOIs?
        isn’t broken?
        So, DOIs are useless, otherwise there should not be a condition that a website should be alive all time.
        To be worthwhile, DOIs should be as an independent library or global archive or repository that standalone regardless of the journal or publisher (in the same way as PubMed for example) to archive all the DOI on internet in one and same place.

      • Phillip Helbig says:

        Do you have any evidence of spamming based on ORCID IDs?

        As to DOIs: The whole point is that the DOI doesn’t change even if the website does. Yes, another approach would be a global repository of everything, but thinking of a DOI as a pointer whose contents can change is also an example. Note that many websites hosting things pointed to by DOIs offer other functionality appropriate to the journal or whatever which wouldn’t be feasible with a master repository.

  7. herr doktor bimler says:

    Seems fair enough to me for a group collaboration or a corporate entity to have their own, shared ID (e.g. the Bourbaki collaboration). I am also happy with a researcher having more than one ID, to separate the different aspects of their output.

    My idea of an ideal ID system has more in common with ORCID as it’s being used than with ORCID as it’s supposed to function.

  8. Andy Mabbett says:

    I’m the Wikipedian in Residence at ORCID, to whom you refer. You don’t say in which regard you believe the Wikipedia article about ORCID to be out-of-date, but I’m afraid you misunderstand the role, which is to help the staff and members of ORCID to understand Wikipedia (and its sister projects, such as Wikidata), and to help Wikipedians understand ORCID, and to encourage them to use it.

    While I do sometimes update the Wikipedia article on ORCID, it’s not always appropriate for me to do so, and anyone – including you – may update it.

  9. Om says:

    Pls remove International Journal of advanced studies in Computer Science and Engineering (IJASCSE) = http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2624-7859
    It does not exists

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