Many scholars are familiar with ORCID, short for Open Researcher and Contributor ID. For researchers, an ORCID ID provides a unique and persistent identity to attach to works, in a manner not unlike the DOI for articles. The nonprofit that operates the IDs, established in 2010, also works with publishers. Among other things, ORCID encourages publishers to embed ORCID IDs in their workflows, for author/reviewer authentication, for badge display, and for synchronization with ORCID records.

The site includes detailed best practices for publishing organizations, and offers a free webinar outlining the many layers of integration. In this post, we outline our first steps in building ORCID into our journal workflow. Happily, Janeway, our journal publishing platform, supports ORCID integration.

The first step is to apply for organizational membership, though ORCID’s API (see below) can be tested without membership. To get the integration up and running, though, membership is required—and it’s not cheap. Even with the 75 percent startup discount, the fee for a Basic membership is $1,287.50. The membership application is straightforward, and doesn’t require an upfront payment. Still, the price is too steep for the moment, until we secure external funding.

In the meantime, we decided to register for the Sandbox Member API. The “sandbox” means that it’s just for testing, and not live in any way. “API” is short for application programming interface, and, in plain English, refers to the manner by which organizations like can communicate with ORCID’s data. Here again the process is straightforward, though it asks for things like redirect urls that, at this point in our learning curve, we haven’t tested with Janeway. We submitted the registration, but haven’t received credentials: The notice indicates that manual approval is required, and may take a full working day. We will update the post when we have heard from ORCID.