, Volume 113, Issue 1, pp 437–453 | Cite as

Tracking researchers and their outputs: new insights from ORCIDs

  • Jan Youtie
  • Stephen Carley
  • Alan L. Porter
  • Philip Shapira


The ability to accurately identify scholarly authors is central to bibliometric analysis. Efforts to disambiguate author names using algorithms or national or societal registries become less effective with increases in the number of publications from China and other nations where shared and similar names are prevalent. This work analyzes the adoption and integration of an open source, cross-national identification system, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID system (ORCID), in Web of Science metadata. Results at the article level show greater adoption, to date, of the ORCID identifier in Europe as compared with Asia and the US. Focusing analysis on individual highly cited researchers with the shared Chinese surname “Wang,” results indicate limitations in the adoption of ORCID. The mechanisms for integrating ORCID identifiers into articles also come into question in an analysis of co-authors of one particular highly cited researcher who have varying percentages of articles with ORCID identifiers attached. These results suggest that systematic variations in adoption and integration of ORCID into publication metadata should be considered in any bibliometric analysis based on it.


Author disambiguation ORCID Web of Science 



The authors thank Laurel Haak and ZL Wang for their assistance with this study. We also thank Joshua Brown and Adèniké Deane-Pratt from ORCID, and Patricia Brennan, Helen Muth, and Joe Barton from Clarivate Analytics for their help with interpreting the findings. This study was undertaken with support from the US National Science Foundation under Award 1645237 (EAGER: Using the ORCID and Emergence Scoring to Study Frontier Researchers). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors or individuals who provided assistance.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Youtie
    • 1
  • Stephen Carley
    • 2
    • 3
  • Alan L. Porter
    • 2
    • 3
  • Philip Shapira
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Enterprise Innovation InstituteGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Search TechnologyNorcrossUSA
  3. 3.School of Public PolicyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Alliance Manchester Business SchoolUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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