ORCID announces changes in member agreements and new authentication-only API

    As part of ORCID’s one-year anniversary, we have reviewed our member agreements to incorporate feedback received from the community.  We are pleased to report a number of changes we hope will encourage responsible use of ORCID identifiers and streamline the membership and integration process, including an Authentication-only API that does not require membership.  More details are available on our Membership and Subscriptions webpage.

    Authentication Only API

    Over the past year, a number of groups, including BioShare and GEN2PHEN, have been requesting that ORCID provide fee-free, public access to the authentication component of the ORCID service.  This is of particular concern for those groups that are not legal entities—such as grant funded consortia—and cannot sign a member agreement.  We have also found that a number of organizations are “integrating” ORCID identifiers by providing a type-in field for users.  This presents a significant data quality issue, allowing typographical and other errors to enter into databases, putting us right back where we started before ORCID identifiers were rolled out. My personal plea:  please do not collect any ORCID iDs using type-in fields!!  In March 2014, ORCID will be providing an authentication-only API that does not require membership. This API can be used, for example, in a workflow in which users are asked to log into their ORCID account (or create one) as one step in a data deposit workflow, and then their ORCID iD is returned to the deposit system in a computer-to-computer interaction.  Using this API means we know the iD exists and we know it belongs to the user.

    Trusted Party and Creator Categories Simplify Member Agreements

    Now that we have a better sense of how organizations are using the ORCID Member API, we have determined that splitting member agreements into “Trusted Party” and “Creator” license options will help streamline the membership sign-up process. Those organizations that want to be able to request access from record holders to write to ORCID records and read limited access data may now sign a Trusted Party license that removes indemnity provisions.  Those organizations that wish to create ORCID records for their employees and affiliates will find that the new Creator agreement includes a narrowed, reciprocal indemnity clause with a cap. Both new license agreements have reciprocal liability caps and limited damages. Existing members may elect to keep their current agreements or sign the new version upon renewal.

    Technical Support

    Support terms for current and new Basic and Premium members have been clarified to ensure quality technical support while controlling costs. Basic members receive support for one set of client credentials, email support and integrated user acceptance testing for up to four releases or major updates per year.  Premium members receive monthly usage reports, support for up to five sets of client credentials, priority queue for help desk requests, and user acceptance testing for an unlimited number of releases per year.

    National Memberships 

    New information regarding national member entry-level and country-wide agreements are now available on the ORCID membership page.

    Determining the best membership or subscription for your organization

    Still wondering what membership type is right for your organization?  See the figure below.  More details are available on our membership page in Chinese, English, French and Spanish.