ananyo writes "In 2011, Y. Wang was the world’s most prolific author of scientific publications, with 3,926 to their name — a rate of more than 10 per day. Never heard of them? That’s because they are a mixture of many different Y. Wangs, each indistinguishable in the scholarly record.
The launch later this year of the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID), an identifier system that will distinguish between authors who share the same name, could soon solve the problem, allowing research papers to be associated correctly with their true author.
Instead of filling out personal details on countless electronic forms associated with submitting papers or applying for grants, a researcher could also simply type in his or her ORCID number. Various fields would be completed automatically by pulling in data from other authorized sources, such as databases of papers, citations, grants and contact details. ORCID does not intend to offer such services itself; the idea is that other organizations will use the open-access ORCID database to build their own services."
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