Within the last year, academic senate groups at Stanford University and the California State University (CSU) system have formally endorsed ORCID for their respective campuses, helping to draw awareness and prioritize the need for ORCID adoption at these campuses and beyond. The ORCID US Community consortium held a community call on June 16, 2020 to explore these case studies, with presentations from Mark Bilby, Scholarly Communication Librarian at CSU Fullerton, and Tom Cramer, Associate University Librarian & Director of Digital Library Systems & Services at Stanford University. This blog explores the approaches taken at each institution as well as considerations for institutional ORCID endorsement. For both case studies, ORCID advocates were met with little to no resistance to the idea of widespread ORCID adoption, given the benefits of ORCID for both researchers and research institutions.

Academic Senate of the California State University Passes ORCID Resolution

On Thursday, May 7, 2020, the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) passed a resolution in support of ORCID for the California State University (CSU) system, which includes 23 campuses across California. In the resolution, the ASCSU “strongly encourage[s] CSU faculty, students, and administrators—whether past, present, or future—to sign up for an ORCID iD and maintain a well-curated and well-integrated ORCID record,” and includes a recommendation which “strongly encourage[s] the Office of the Chancellor and campus Presidents to provide financial support for a CSU-wide and campus ORCID institutional memberships, make robust ORCID integration a procurement standard for software service providers whenever reasonable, commission a system-wide ORCID implementation task force, and commit significant staff development time to build customized ORCID integrations within and across the CSU system.”

The process leading up to this resolution began in 2017 when Mark Bilby, Scholarly Community Librarian at CSU’s Fullerton campus, became involved in the linked open data community and learned about the benefits of ORCID. Bilby held conversations with library leadership, created an ORCID LibGuide, and started encouraging faculty to get and use ORCID iDs.

In 2018, Bilby initiated more conversations about ORCID across campus, talking to staff in various internal stakeholder units—such as the research office—across campus, and initiating faculty workshops on ORCID. Bilby continued to brainstorm about how ORCID might provide benefits to various campus workflows, such as the student admissions process, search committees, and alumni office efforts. He realized that partnering with internal stakeholders would be key to strategic ORCID adoption on campus and presented on this topic at the 2018 Digital Library Federation (DLF) Forum.

Following an example set by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in 2017, Bilby decided to leverage his position as chair of the library committee for the academic senate to write and propose an ORCID resolution within the committee. The resolution was accepted and moved on to become an endorsement statement, which was brought to and signed by five additional academic senate committees representing a good cross-section of campus stakeholders, including the Vice President of campus Information Technology and administrators from faculty development and the research office.

In 2019, in a partnership between central IT and the library, CSU Fullerton became an ORCID member organization via the ORCID US Community. Shortly thereafter, an opportunity arose to present the ORCID endorsement statement to the CSU statewide academic senate, thanks to an existing relationship between the library and academic statewide senate representative Mark Stohs, who had served previously on the library committee. Stohs brought the ORCID resolution to statewide senate in December for a first reading, with a second reading in January 2020, which was approved for a vote in March. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the vote was postponed to May 2020, where the ORCID endorsement was passed. The resolution is a significant show of support for ORCID, and other institutions are welcome to borrow any language or methods that would be helpful in passing similar resolutions.

ORCID Endorsement at Stanford University

Stanford University initially became an institutional ORCID member in 2016 through the NorthEast Research Libraries (NERL) consortium, which joined with the ORCID US Community consortium in January of 2018. A grassroots group of ORCID supporters— primarily from libraries—formed shortly thereafter and started meeting to discuss strategies for promoting ORCID adoption more actively on campus. 

In 2019, an opportunity arose to present a resolution in support of ORCID via one of Stanford’s faculty senate committees, the Stanford Faculty Senate Committee on Academic and Computing Information Systems (C-ACIS). The C-ACIS committee, responsible for reviewing operations and setting policy for university (academic) IT, considered ORCID endorsement initially in May 2019, where the idea was introduced and discussed and in November 2019 when the formal endorsement was requested. Tom Cramer, Associate University Librarian & Director of Digital Library Systems & Services, prepared a slide deck to lead the discussion. Comprised of a mixed group including faculty, graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, undergrads, the University CIO and University Librarian, the committee agreed that ORCID adoption would benefit the campus, and the endorsement was strongly supported.

The Stanford C-ACIS committee endorsement supports three recommendations:

  1. Stanford should embrace and promote the use of ORCID iDs for all its researchers as an integral part of its identity management and research information management ecosystem. 
    1. We expect every Stanford researcher to have an ORCID iD in the future.
    2. Stanford researchers should configure their ORCID iD to allow for data visibility and data updates to/from Stanford systems.
  1. Stanford’s IT systems should integrate with and leverage ORCID data. Stanford’s enterprise identity management systems (managed by University IT) will be the primary integration point between ORCID and the University.
    1.  This will allow both for single sign-on and for any Stanford system to receive a researcher’s ORCID iD via one look up. 
    2. Additional systems will integrate with ORCID for read or read-write access (e.g., Profiles, the Stanford Digital Repository, facilities systems).
  1. Stanford’s information service and research support providers need to coordinate to streamline ORCID use and make the benefits obvious to Stanford researchers by:  
    1. Providing guidance and support on appropriate configuration. 
    2. Coordinating on user experience and data flow among Stanford systems.
    3. Advocating for effective ORCID use for Stanford researchers on campus and externally.

Since then, Stanford has integrated the ORCID API with their central identity management service and is actively looking at more possibilities for ORCID integrations. Core technologists on campus are aware and thinking about ORCID, and stakeholders are working toward an increasingly coordinated approach for ORCID outreach and API integration. Over 10,000 Stanford researchers have ORCID iDs already, so leveraging the API across campus will bring the full benefits of ORCID to Stanford researchers and administrators, especially in the wake of new requirements from NIH and other federal agencies now requiring ORCID iDs for certain types of grant awards.

Next Steps

Are you thinking about formal ORCID endorsement at your own institution? To get started:

  • Use the ORCID US Community Planning Guide and Planning Worksheet to do some initial brainstorming about ORCID adoption in the context of your institution, including considerations for partnering with internal stakeholders, integrating campus systems with the ORCID API, and reaching out to researchers about ORCID.
  • Identify other stakeholders and decision-makers on campus, and talk to them about ORCID, using the ORCID US Community Value of ORCID for Research Institutions one-pager for talking points. Locate relevant institutional senate committees and representatives, and start conversations about ORCID to gauge potential for support.
  • Draft a resolution in support of ORCID, perhaps modeled from the ASCSU resolution, and share it with your senate colleagues. Revise as needed.
  • Investigate the process for raising and proposing endorsement or resolution statements via the senate. Take the necessary actions based on the processes for your institution.
  • Share your experience with the ORCID Community! Tag @ORCID_Org on Twitter or contact support@orcid.org

This blog was originally published on the ORCID blog, July 13, 2020 at https://orcid.org/blog/2020/07/13/institutional-orcid-endorsements. Special thanks to Mark Bilby (CSU Fullerton) and Tom Cramer (Stanford University) for sharing their case studies!