Last week I was kindly invited by the the Portuguese Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) to deliver an ORCID presentation at the annual workshop on technical issues FCT held in Évora for HEIs in Portugal, the Jornadas FCT-FCCN. The talk was scheduled within a PT-CRIS session dealing with the converging worklines in research information management (RIM) that FCT have in mind to build a strong national RIM infrastructure with a CERIF-compliant National Research Information System or PT-CRIS at the top and ORCID playing a key role for ensuring interoperability among the different systems involved.
Save for the Sloan-funded ORCID integration projects being presently carried out in the U.S., Portugal is providing the most innovative approach to ORCID exploitation one is aware of to date. Once the research funder (FCT) has ensured a very significant ORCID uptake by researchers in a remarkably short time – collecting 40,000 registrations in three weeks – they are now planning the strategy to effectively put these identifiers to work by integrating them into the different RIM systems that are run at national level. These include National Open Access platforms such as RCAAP, with links to institutional repositories and OJS-managed Open Access journals – an area the Sloan-funded projects are also covering to some extent – but also national CV platforms like DeGóis or systems like Authenticus for automatic publication retrieval for institutions and researchers in the whole country. And all of this on a shoestring budget which fits the difficult economic situation Southern European countries are presently undergoing.
The ORCID presentation provided a brief analysis of the FCT-driven process for making researchers register with ORCID and some available examples for current ORCID integration projects for funders, publishers and institutions. The work the FCT-driven Working Group will be carrying out during the next months will build on these best practices to develop pioneering functionality. At this point one cannot help but again praising the way some small countries seem regularly able to coordinate relevant RIM stakeholders at national level in an efficient fashion.