Introducing ORCID

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Science  19 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6339, pp. 691-692
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6339.691

ORCID wasn't intended as a massive longitudinal survey of human migration, but with 3 million profiles and growing, it is becoming just that. So far, 25% of the world's researchers have added personal information to their public ORCID profiles, including the years, locations, and descriptions of their education and employment.

This data set has biases. ORCID users skew young, and certain countries are over- and underrepresented. The raw data sets are available at http://scim.ag/2pO820I.

Scientific migrants: a view from ORCID

Although the data set overrepresents some EU countries and underrepresents China, Science's analysis reveals intriguing migration patterns. For example, about a third of those who earned their Ph.D. in the United Kingdom were living in another country by 2016. But only about 15% of Ph.D.s from other EU nations migrated away. Also, ORCID chronicles steady growth since 1990 in the number of foreign scientists immigrating to the United States (bottom). But in 2002, that annual influx stagnated, possibly because of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

  • * Kirk Doran is an economist at the University of Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana.

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