ISNI and ORCID Issue Joint Statement on Interoperation, April 2013

ISNI and ORCID agree on need to work together on interoperation through linking

ORCID and ISNI are separate, independent organizations that assign identifiers to individuals and are using the same identifier format. While ISNI and ORCID have different missions and employ different processes for assigning identifiers and linking people with their works and their affiliated institutions, points of overlap between them justify investigating options for interoperability. ORCID and ISNI are agreed on the need to aim for interoperation through linking and of sharing public data between the two systems. In addition, ORCID and ISNI are committed to investigate the feasibility of a shared identifier scheme for a single number to represent an individual in both the ORCID and ISNI databases.

ISNI is an ISO certified global standard for identifying the millions of contributors to creative works and those active in their distribution, including writers, artists, creators, performers, researchers, producers, publishers, aggregators, and more. It is part of a family of international standard identifiers that includes identifiers of works, recordings, products and right holders in all repertoires, e.g. DOI, ISAN, ISBN, ISRC, ISSN, ISTC, and ISWC.

ORCID is an open, non-profit, international, and interdisciplinary community-based effort to provide a self-claim registry of unique researcher identifiers. To ensure the identifier links researchers with their works, ORCID works with the research community to embed these identifiers in workflows, such as manuscript submission, grant application, and dataset deposition. ORCID is unique because of its direct relationship with researchers and with organizations throughout the research community.

ISNI manages a disambiguation process based on data matching between authoritative sources and with a broader remit than the researcher community, including rights management. In addition to identifying individuals, ISNI assigns identifiers to organizations, including research institutions. Through its core relationship with the VIAF database, ISNI provides the prospect of widespread diffusion of identifiers into the databases of hundreds of national and major university research libraries worldwide. The ISNI database is also rich in other data concerning researchers. Among the assigned ISNIs are 494,102 identities from 6 research based sources: American Musicological Society, British Library Theses, JISC Names (UK), Modern Languages Association, Proquest Theses, and Scholar Universe. More researchers’ rich data is being added from OCLC theses and ZETOC, among other sources. Assignment is made when 2 independent sources have data in agreement, or where a name is unique.

ORCID has gained worldwide interest from the research community since its launch in October 2012. The Registry has over 70,000 unique IDs and is growing by about 5,000 researchers each week, through a combination of direct registrations and registrations through external systems that have embedded the iD, such as manuscript submissions systems, repositories, and associations with external identifiers. More than a quarter of the researchers have enriched their record with additional metadata about their publications and research works.

ORCID and ISNI have already taken a first collaborative step in defining system interoperabiity. The ORCID iD is compatible in format with the ISNI ISO Standard (ISO 27729). The ORCID Registry randomly assigns ORCID iDs from a block of numbers set aside for them by the ISNI International Agency which avoids having the same number assigned to different people.

About the ISNI International Agency

ISNI is the globally recognized and adopted standard approved by ISO for the unique identification of the public identities across all fields of creative activity.

Registration Agency

A registration agent provides the interface between ISNI applicants and the ISNI Registration Authority, which is governed by the ISNI board and administered by OCLC.

Search the ISNI Database

Use the lookup tool provided by OCLC to search the ISNI database, to discover which Public Identities have already been assigned ISNIs.