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Author Credit: PLOS & ORCID Update

Receiving credit for your work on a research article is important for academic recognition.  Scientific research and collaboration is now a global endeavor and while exciting, consistently identifying who has worked on what, and to what degree, is challenging. Given the current research environment, attributing appropriate credit to authors is complicated.  In an effort to help disambiguate author identity and to recognize authors for their contributions, PLOS is excited to share with you an update on our efforts to help all authors receive credit for their research.


For more than two years, PLOS has made it possible for authors, editors and reviewers to register  and log into our manuscript submission system with an ORCID.  Starting this month, we will send those iDs associated with authors of newly-published papers through to Crossref in our metadata deposits.  Crossref, in turn, will communicate that information to ORCID, where if the author has agreed to allow for updates, their ORCID profile will be enhanced to include their new publication. This auto-update function makes it possible for authors to maintain their records going forward without touching them!

Registering for an ORCID iD is simple to do – thousands of PLOS authors have already signed up!

ORCID Open Letter

This week, PLOS, in collaboration with eLife, the Royal Society and other major publishers, signed an Open Letter that commits publishers to following best practices when collecting, processing, and displaying ORCID iDs. An ORCID iD distinguishes authors from others with similar names by providing a unique identifier that permanently links all research published by that author to his or her ORCID iD —even if their name has changed over time or has been spelled differently in various contexts.  We worked with ORCID and other publishers to establish best practices that ensure we maintain the integrity of the ORCID record and best serve our authors. By signing this letter, our CEO, Elizabeth Marincola, has committed PLOS to begin requiring all corresponding authors to associate their name with an ORCID iD during 2016 – the exact date for implementation is still to be determined.

While our plan for the future is to require an ORCID iD for corresponding authors, we strongly encourage all contributors (authors, reviewers, editors, etc) to register for an ORCID iD and use it consistently for all their content.

Looking Ahead

PLOS is committed to providing new tools and services that help accelerate the pace and transparency of scientific research. We plan to continue collaborating with publishers, institutions and others that are practicing or want to establish ways to make publishing science faster, improve the author experience, and advance standards for reporting and reproducing research. As we move forward, we will continue to update our authors, contributors and community on our progress. Thank you for your continued support as we work on improving how authors and contributors receive credit for their research.

Helen Atkins

Director of Publishing Services

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