Full-Length Paper

ORCID @ CMU: Successes and Failures

  • Denise Troll Covey (Carnegie Mellon University)


Setting and Objectives: Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) recently planned and implemented a project to help CMU researchers get an Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID) and to enable administrators to integrate the ORCIDs into university systems. This article describes and assesses the planning, performance, and outcome of this initiative, branded ORCID @ CMU.

Design and Methods: The article chronicles why and how ORCID was integrated at CMU, including the rationale for changes in strategic plans. It assesses researcher participation in the project using transaction log and content analyses, and the performance of the ORCID project team using recommendations in the Jisc ORCID project report, frankly reporting the team’s successes and failures. The article concludes with lessons learned that should inform ORCID integration projects and expectations at other institutions.

Results: The ORCID @ CMU web application was a great success. However, the project team did not allow enough time to prepare or devote enough attention to advocacy. The marketing message was not sufficiently persuasive and the marketing channels were not particularly effective. The overall participation rate in ORCID @ CMU was far below the target of 40%, though participation in many demographics exceeded the goal.

Conclusions: Strategic planning does not guarantee success. Secure more than lip service from senior administrators. Recruit champions from across the institution. Develop a message that resonates with researchers. Allow sufficient time to prepare. Empower the project manager. Start with the low hanging fruit. Develop special outreach to doctoral students and postdocs.

Keywords: ORCID, scholarly communication, marketing, assessment, content analysis, transaction log analysis

How to Cite:

Troll Covey, D., (2016) “ORCID @ CMU: Successes and Failures”, Journal of eScience Librarianship 4(2): 6. doi: https://doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2015.1083

Rights: Copyright © 2016 The Author(s).

Publisher Notes

  • The HTML and PDF versions of this article were corrected on December 10, 2017 to change the Creative Commons license from CC BY-NC-SA to CC BY at the author's request.

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Published on
05 Feb 2016