Many authors share the same names (John Smith). Some authors change names (Ms. Jones becomes Mrs. Allen). Some authors have multiple identities (John Smith, J. Smith, J.D. Smith, etc). These characteristics add complexity to manuscript workflow and hinder downstream information discovery. Ideally authors would be identified by definitive, unchanging unique IDs so that their publications can be reliably tracked and connected over time.
To address this problem, several organizations (including Aries Systems Corporation) have recently announced a new collaboration. The ORCID (www.orcid.org) initiative represents a community effort to establish an open, independent registry of researcher IDs. If you have suggestions about how an author ID could be used to improve EM, our product management team would like to hear from you: email@example.com