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Talking Peer Review: Q&A with ORCiD

Not long to go until September 19, when we announce the winner of our Sentinel Award - for outstanding advocacy, innovation or contribution to scholarly peer review!

In the fifth Q&A of our 'Talking Peer Review' series, we catch up with Sentinel Award finalists, ORCiD.

Here's why ORCiD was put forward:

"ORCiD is nominated for its essential role in making peer review more visible and integrated into scholarly research and communication."

Can you tell us a bit about ORCiD?

ORCID's vision is a world where everyone who participates in research, scholarship, and innovation is uniquely identified and connected with their contributions (including peer review - in all its shapes and forms) and affiliations across disciplines, borders, and time. We are making this a reality by providing​ a Registry​ where individuals ​can obtain​ a​ unique​ ORCID iD that they can use in hundreds of ​research ​systems​, includ​ing​​​ manuscript submission​ and review​, grant application​ and review​, conference abstract,​ thesis submission,​ ​and ​research information management​ systems.​ In this way, a researcher's contributions can be easily and authoritatively connected to their ORCID ​iD and ​record and, from there, flow to other systems they use (with the individual's permission).

What does an improved peer review process look like to you, and how is ORCiD working to achieve that?

There is general agreement that, although many researchers spend a lot of time on various forms of peer review - and that peer review is central to the research process - this work is often not recognized. We want to help change that by providing an easy way to connect peer review activities to an individual's ORCID ​iD. ​ Reviewers​ can choose ​when and with whom to ​share th​eir review activity​ information - for example during the promotion and tenure process or as part of a grant application. We also believe there are opportunities to use ORCID to ​improve trust in the peer review process - for example by using information connected to an ORCID record to verify a reviewer's other contributions, such as publications and other peer reviews.
What or who inspired you to work towards this? Recognition for research contributions is one of our key goals. Our peer review functionality grew out of a conversation with F1000 which then developed into a community working group, led by them, us, and CASRAI. The main output of that group - which brought together representatives from across the scholarly community - was a blueprint for how to cite peer review service, which forms the basis of the functionality ​ORCID ​​built.

What does transparency in peer review (the theme of this year's Peer Review Week) mean to you?

Openness and transparency are core ORCID principles (https://orcid.org/about/what-is-orcid/principles) so we are especially pleased that transparency is the topic for this year's Peer Review Week. We are deliberately agnostic about the different forms of peer review, but we do believe that in peer review as in other forms of scholarly communication, a transparent process is key. ​Peer review i​nformation added to ORCID records can therefore be very sparse (in the case of blind review) or very ​detailed​, for example, including the DOI for the review itself (in the case of open review). But ​in whatever form, ​review information is available - with the reviewer's permission - publicly or just to her/his organizations.

What are you plans for the future?

So far most of the uptake for our peer review functionality has come from journal publishers and their service providers. Going forward we would love to see it adopted more widely. ​ORCID is​ starting to be integrated in annotation systems such as Hypothes.is and Remarq; and ​books publishers and funders ​are expressing​ interest. So we are hopeful that we will have lots more examples to show by the time Peer Review Week 2018 rolls around!

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