Blogging about Southampton’s ORCID pilot

This blog will report on the progress of the ORCID pilot at the University of Southampton funded by JISC and supported by ARMA (the UK’s professional association for research managers and administrators).

We will make regular postings giving details of what we are doing and planning to do, as well as links to related sites and publications.

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Summary Report

This blog is an important part of our reporting to Jisc for this project. To recognise this, an archive of this blog has been deposited with our Institutional Repository ePrints Soton.

The other significant element is the Summary Report, also publically available through ePrints Soton.

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Benefits of the Southampton Approach

An equally important area of reflection is the benefits coming from our approach and the project.

Having the Jisc project at Southampton did improve both knowledge and skills of ORCID within the organisation. One example is the Library was better able respond to enquiries and embed advice in academic practice – for example resulting out of the NIHR asking for ORCIDs for a grant application.

Also the Jisc project has increased the awareness of ORCID within key parts of the institution, such as the library, IT, Research and Innovation Services and the senior management within the university (e.g. the Pro Vice-Chancellor Research). Endorsement and support from key national and international bodies has demonstrated that ORCID is a significant development.

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Getting the message out

As the official project draws to an end, we are still very busy promoting the new service to researchers at the University of Southampton. Getting the message out there is something we’re going to be doing for the foreseeable future until the acquisition and linking of an ORCID iD becomes truly embedded in the University’s work patterns.

We started talking to academic colleagues about ORCID in the autumn, as soon as we knew about the project, gradually building up recognition of the term. The library staff have good links into various committees, meetings and training opportunities around the University and we have used these multiplicity of channels to raise awareness. Opportunities to talk to researchers have included, but not been limited to, academic unit boards, research group meetings, embedded training opportunities such as postgraduate training on e-theses, postgraduate, staff and PCAP (Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice) training sessions on open access, and one-to-one deskside training sessions.

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Important Lessons Learned

As we reach the end of the project we have reflected on our experiences, especially the lessons we have learnt.

Our project had a good strategic underpinning in the project steering group: key staff in the Library, iSolutions (IT), Research and Innovation Services and EPrints Services (who provide the software for our repository). This enabled us to get the key approval within the university research committee and iSolutions (IT).

We have a good relationship with our Legal Services department and engaged with them early in the project. This gave us a strong steer towards an opt-in model, based on our contractual obligations. We followed up the initial discussion (focusing on principles and the ORCID membership contract), looking at likely screen text and FAQs. This avoided any legal delays to ‘going live’.

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Update and Overview of our Technical Approach

Our central IT department, iSolutions have been hard at work implementing our planned ORCID service. The development is now essentially finished – we can now start on implementation.

This has been an interesting process – the core of the service we envisioned has been created. One of the more complex elements (automating the adding of affiliation information) was not realised. Also the developer has come up with good ideas we didn’t think of! E.g. giving the user a summary of the publically available information on their profile. This could be useful for someone who created an ORCID some time ago – and prompt them to update information if needed!

Our work in preparing FAQ material, and learning from other institutions (e.g. Oxford) has been valuable and time saving. We were over optimistic is our allowance for development time. This will limit the extent to which the service can be launched before the project formally ends.

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Summer Recap

There’s a definite autumnal chill in the air in the mornings that puts a spring in your step and progress on our ORCID project is speeding up.

Much of the summer has been spent in discussions with our Legal Services over the model we will use. We seriously underestimated how much time this would take due to the legal complexities. As a result we have changed our plans slightly and now we will be asking University members to either create and ORCID id or connect their existing one rather than automatically creating an id for them. We’ve agreed the wording of the screen text with Legal Services which will sit within our institutional account management environment called ‘Subscribe’.

iSolutions, our central IT department have now picked up the reins and are working on implementing the system.  We’ve aiming to start outreach in later this autumn, primarily to our academic and research staff, although research students will also be encourage to sign up.

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We are in our ‘thinking’ period of the project, working out how best to roll out ORCID usage throughout the researchers at Southampton to ensure the greatest uptake. We have also been attending webinars this week on the technical aspects of ORCID, which in turn has led Chris Gutteridge to blog in a personal capacity, musing about ways to make ORCID better, in particular in relation to their current use of Google Analytics.

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More about the project: budget & timescales

As we enter our second month of the project, here’s a little more background.

The project is funded to the tune of £10k. iSolutions work on integrating ORCID with our systems will account for £5k, with another £2k for work on ePrints. The remaining £3k will cover staff costs in the Library related to management of the project.  The cost of ORCID membership will be borne separately by the Library.

Timescales are tight and we are currently looking at the best ways to roll out ORCID membership and beginning to engage with the acdemic community to raise awareness of the project.

Task name Duration Start Finish
Investigate ID roll out options 43 days 01/05/14 30/06/14
Deliver ID roll out 66 days 01/07/14 30/09/14
ORCID examples in HR database 89 days 01/07/14 31/01/15
ORCID examples in ePrints 89 days 01/07/14 31/10/14
Engagement with NCS 176 days 02/06/14 31/01/15
Engagement with all researchers 176 days 02/06/14 31/01/15
Engagement with group 176 days 02/06/14 31/01/15
Coms with other projects/wider community 198 days 01/05/14 31/01/15
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Sotonians on ORCID

173 people with ORCID researcher IDs  mention Southampton in their profile. Are all of them with the University? At the moment we can’t tell but we’re working on it!

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