From January, authors submitting papers to UK society’s journals will need to have signed up for unique identifier

The UK’s Royal Society has announced that from January 2016 it will require all researchers submitting papers to its journals to provide an Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID).

ORCID is a free online tool that is already used by an estimated 1.8 million researchers. It creates a passport-like unique identifier that pulls together an individual’s research activities, including publications, employment history, datasets and patents. Providing an ORCID ID is already an option for authors submitting to a range of journals, including the Royal Society of Chemistry’s, but it will be compulsory for Royal Society journals from next month.

The Royal Society says encouraging all researchers to use ORCID will help them to build a profile and save them time in the long run, as ORCID can automatically fill in details to compatible systems without the need for separate forms. It will also allow for easy distinction between researchers with the same name.

‘We believe that publishers have a key role in promoting systems that provide support to researchers and to science,’ said the Royal Society’s publishing director Stuart Taylor. ‘We are pleased to be the first UK publisher to make ORCID IDs a requirement for submitting papers to Royal Society journals. A number of other publishers are planning to do the same early in 2016 and we hope all publishers will ultimately support this system.’