[Taxacom] Forcing ORCID on researchers

Roger Hyam RHyam at rbge.org.uk
Mon Dec 7 09:23:58 CST 2020

Well folks I’m building a botanical system that requires an ORCID to login and all this thread has done is confirm I’ve made the right decision.



On 7 Dec 2020, at 14:38, Carlos Alberto Martínez Muñoz <biotemail at gmail.com<mailto:biotemail at gmail.com>> wrote:

Dear Wouter,
The ORCID initiative is not-for-profit, but the implementation is not. ORCID has for-profit members paying membership fees and then 1) building for-profit tools on top of ORCID IDs and 2) making ORCID IDs mandatory in journals. Those tools and journals are then sold back to public institutions, priced with profit margins of up to 37%, higher than the profit margins of oil companies. That is why it is so counterproductive, expensive and unfair to turn anything into a standard when the full not-for-profit implementation cycle is far from existing. In an ideal world, the full implementation cycle, with ORCID expenses, tools and journals would be not-for-profit. Then I would have no ethical problem in getting an ORCID.
Forceful adoption happens when the institutions buying a tool get an ORCID-based added service in a pricing bundle that they cannot refuse unless they refuse the whole package. Forceful adoption happens when all or most of the journals where one can publish in demand an ORCID.
If you cannot see that using and promoting ORCID is not ethically neutral, then you should stop doing both things.

By the way, I don't expect you to easily find the footprints of Elsevier, Nature Publishing and Thomson Reuters in nowadays ORCID. You will have to look deeper into the past, even before ORCID was founded. Have fun with your reading!

Carlos A. Martínez Muñoz
Zoological Museum, Biodiversity Unit
FI-20014 University of Turku
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El lun, 7 dic 2020 a las 16:19, Wouter Addink (<wouter.addink at naturalis.nl<mailto:wouter.addink at naturalis.nl>>) escribió:
Hi Carlos,
I did not say that orcid ids do not cost money, I said they do not cost you as a researcher money. Every persistent identifier system costs money.

I am no financial expert, but their tax statements are online and it looks to me like the main income is from membership fees, orcid has over 1000 members. Most of them probably universities. There is income from grants and sponsorship too and elsevier is one of 17 platinum sponsors. Most of these sponsorships are only foundational loans though. Springer and Plos are in the board, I do not see Elsevier there, but I think publishers should as stakeholders be part of the board (but not majority). According to orcid bylaws the board is required to have a majority of individuals from non-profit members and the board always includes 2 elected researchers. So I see nothing in the funding or governance model that worries me and I see no evidence of a major role from elsevier either.

Kind regards

Op ma 7 dec. 2020 14:23 schreef Carlos Alberto Martínez Muñoz <biotemail at gmail.com<mailto:biotemail at gmail.com>>:
Hi Rod,
"Rather, I think the main drivers come from the publishing industry, funders, and academia, who see value in being able to identify people, and hence accurately measure their academic contributions (be it authoring, reviewing, getting grants, etc.)."
I agree about the main drivers and I will comment on this. To save me some time, please introduce to this list the ORCID funding model, with the history of early funders and today's main funders. That's where we should start.

"You mention “personal freedom”, it’s not clear to me how your freedom is affected by having an ORCID. Is it the ORCID you object to, or the notion of having an identifier at all?" My freedom includes the freedom to choose having an identifier or not, and my freedom includes which identifiers from all those available I am going to choose. My English is not good, but I expected that it was enough to convey those ideas. An increasing number of journals are forcing researchers to have identifiers, and to specifically have ORCID. It is pretty significant when megajournals or publishers do that. As the snowball effect increases, we are left with the option of having an identifier (and only ORCID!) or not having it and not publishing anymore. In this context, preservation of freedom means to recommend good practices and to have the technical capability of implementing them, but freedom is not preserved by forcing adoption of a practice which is not essential to the scientific content of the publications.

Dear Roger,
"for example, Research Gate (which you rate so highly as to have in your email signature)". Having a platform in an email signature does not mean that there is endorsement to that platform. That is your personal interpretation. I was free to choose whether to have RG or not, and even more, I also could choose and have an Academia profile as well. No journal has demanded me to get any of those accounts. Moreover, I previously had a Publons account in my email signature. After Publons was bought by Clarivate Analytics, I deleted my Publons account and demanded Clarivate to wipe off all my data.

Dear Wouter,
About the freedom of choice, see the snowball effect above. About the ORCID not costing money, you are very naive if you believe that. Don't you think that I haven't noticed Elsevier's long tentacles behind ORCID, and don't you think that I haven't noticed how they squeeze money from whole countries by implementing ORCID into their service package bundle, including Pure. I believe that I don't need to remind anyone here that Elsevier makes more profit than oil companies and that it is well-known for its abusive pricing and bullying behavior. We are all paying for ORCID, and we pay two times. First, we pay with our work, manually curating and linking our research to us, data which publishers happily collect. Then, we pay a second time, when publishers squeeze the cost of ORCID implementation out of us, and with astonishing profits. I am not going to be one more researcher supporting Elsevier's statistics. Thank you!


Carlos A. Martínez Muñoz
Zoological Museum, Biodiversity Unit
FI-20014 University of Turku
ResearchGate profile<https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.researchgate.net%2Fprofile%2FCarlos_Martinez-Munoz&data=04%7C01%7CRHyam%40rbge.org.uk%7C42a501606f81410216ca08d89abdc7a3%7Cbb63bb00175e46b7b7b3bc74158e4fd4%7C0%7C0%7C637429487178419675%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=7fYQMcW1IWkSdZOcGQXyw9j8DWZJe0zfglLEOUfkZT8%3D&reserved=0>
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El lun, 7 dic 2020 a las 14:38, Roderic Page (<Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk<mailto:Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk>>) escribió:
Hi Carlos,

Just to unpack this a little, ORCID isn’t anything to do with biodiversity informatics as such, its scope is all academic publishing. You will see the requirement for an ORCID appearing in many journals, not just Zootaxa. See for example https://orcid.org/content/requiring-orcid-publication-workflows-open-letter<https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Forcid.org%2Fcontent%2Frequiring-orcid-publication-workflows-open-letter&data=04%7C01%7CRHyam%40rbge.org.uk%7C42a501606f81410216ca08d89abdc7a3%7Cbb63bb00175e46b7b7b3bc74158e4fd4%7C0%7C0%7C637429487178429673%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=CoLrp%2BUeMeSkRvxLgW5m99uRUcPjqxWdVC4yWu85dUw%3D&reserved=0> So I think this is an inevitable trend no matter where you chose to publish.

You mention “personal freedom”, it’s not clear to me how your freedom is affected by having an ORCID. Is it the ORCID you object to, or the notion of having an identifier at all?

Just to be clear, I’m genuinely interested in how people view ORCIDs (and other identifiers). And I think that the reason ORCIDs exist is not primarily for the benefit of individual researchers, although one could argue that it is useful to be able to clearly identify yourself to avoid being conflated with another researcher, and having your academic CV automatically generated.

Rather, I think the main drivers come from the publishing industry, funders, and academia, who see value in being able to identify people, and hence accurately measure their academic contributions (be it authoring, reviewing, getting grants, etc.). People like me who work in trying to link data together tend to view ORCIDs positively (sorting out the mess of people names in databases will be much easier if everyone had - and used - an ORCID). I appreciate that not everyone sees them this way.



On 7 Dec 2020, at 11:58, Carlos Alberto Martínez Muñoz <biotemail at gmail.com<mailto:biotemail at gmail.com>> wrote:

Hi Rod,
There have been many irregularities in expanding ORCID and getting it adopted. Some have been discussed here, some I have seen myself. I have no time to discuss them all here. In the spotlight, there is this paragraph by Wouter Addink, which was really deplorable and which, at least for me, closed ORCID as an option:
"I am also amazed to see though, that there are still many authors not using their ORCID iD in OA publications or maintain their ORCID iD without any public information about their publications. I think there might even still be researchers who do not have an ORCID iD, although I don't know any." Well, Wouter, hello there!
Down to the core, Rod: This is a matter of personal freedom. Whoever forces an ID on researchers misses that. And whoever forces ONE ID above all others misses that two times. There is more in this world than the narrow field of biodiversity informatics.

Carlos A. Martínez Muñoz
Zoological Museum, Biodiversity Unit
FI-20014 University of Turku
ResearchGate profile<https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.researchgate.net%2Fprofile%2FCarlos_Martinez-Munoz&data=04%7C01%7CRHyam%40rbge.org.uk%7C42a501606f81410216ca08d89abdc7a3%7Cbb63bb00175e46b7b7b3bc74158e4fd4%7C0%7C0%7C637429487178439669%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=UdekM%2FknnKnabfnpcs1nX4g9o9DM5ou%2BKfDsqHwx8ec%3D&reserved=0>
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El lun, 7 dic 2020 a las 13:41, Roderic Page (<Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk<mailto:Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk>>) escribió:
Hi Carlos,

I’m curious as to why you object to getting an ORCID? Is it an objection to identifier sin general, or ORCID in particular?



On 7 Dec 2020, at 11:36, Carlos Alberto Martínez Muñoz via Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>> wrote:

Dear Taxacomers,
I have been informed today by a co-author that Zootaxa has decided to be
strict and to enforce ORCID for all authors.
For all you journal editors and owners in this list: You are not welcome to
force an identifier on researchers, and even less to force ONE identifier
above all others, without alternatives. Also, it is useless. You might
force researchers to have an ID at the time of publication, but you cannot
force researchers to keep it. I will make sure that my ORCID gets wiped off
after publication. And every time you force me to get one, the same will
happen again. As the platform says, getting an ORCID just takes a minute.
Anthony Gill previously wrote: "My take is ORCID can take a flying jump at
itself." Couldn't agree more.

Carlos A. Martínez Muñoz
Zoological Museum, Biodiversity Unit
FI-20014 University of Turku
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