In DepthScientific Publishing

Publishers embrace scheme to end name confusion

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Science  15 Jan 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6270, pp. 213
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6270.213

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If you are a Williams or Johnson—among the most common surnames in the United States—it can be tricky to find you on the Internet, especially if you also have a common first name such as Mary or James. For academic researchers, whose careers are measured largely by authorship on papers, name ambiguity can be a killer. Some clarity, however, is now in sight. In a letter released online 7 January, some of the world's largest academic publishers and scientific societies announced that they will not just encourage, but ultimately require, researchers to sign up with ORCID, a nonprofit organization that assigns members a 16-digit identifier.