Openness is a core ORCID value, and one that we encourage our community to share. So we’re delighted to announce that ORCID member KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) recently released their ORCID repository integration code openly for community use — just in time for this year’s Open Access Week! Learn more in this interview with their Preservation and Digital Services Manager, Mohamed Ba-Essa and Digital Repository Lead, Daryl Grenz.
Please tell us about KAUST and your roles there
KAUST is a graduate-level university focused on research into global issues related to food, water, energy, and the environment. It is located by the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia and is home to people from more than 100 different countries. We in the university library have as our mission both to make sure that our researchers have all the global research information they need at their fingertips, but also to help preserve and provide access to the research that they produce while at KAUST.
When, why, and how did KAUST get involved with ORCID?
We became members of ORCID in 2015, both to support what we felt was an important global initiative and to enable students to have the history of the research that they conducted at KAUST linked to their ORCID iD before they moved on in their careers. We became one of the first institutions to set up our DSpace repository to use ORCID iDs and also created a local tool connecting the repository to the ORCID API.
How are you currently using ORCID at KAUST?
We connect faculty and students to their works in our institutional repository using their ORCID iD. For example, students are required to have an ORCID iD when submitting their theses or dissertations. The thesis records then also link to the faculty advisors and committee members using their ORCID iDs. Since last year we have also been registeringminting DataCite DOIs for some items in our repository (ETDs, datasets, and software) and including the author ORCID iDs in the metadata sent to DataCite. We also use ORCID iDs to keep track of new publications by our faculty by querying Crossref based on current faculty ORCID iDs.
Can you tell us more about the code you’ve just released for your repository integration that’s now available for community use?
The code has two parts, the Institutional ORCID Integration (IOI) application and the DSpace expanded-ORCID-support patch. The IOI provides an interface for users from an institution to set up and manage the connection between their ORCID iD and the institution. The DSpace patch then allows their ORCID iD to be added to records in the DSpace repository, and for information about new publications to be sent back through the IOI connection into their ORCID record.
What impact do you hope releasing the code will have?
When we first set up our ORCID integration we were hoping that fuller ORCID support would be built into newer versions of the main DSpace code, but that hasn’t happened yet. So there are quite a few institutions using DSpace who would like to adopt ORCID, but don’t have a straightforward path to do it. This project gives them some technical building blocks that they can arrange in a setup that will work for them. For example, an institution that is not yet an ORCID member could set up the IOI as a way to collect researchers’ iDs and add them to publication records in their DSpace repository, without adding the publication information to ORCID records. The code may even prove useful to institutions that don’t use DSpace, because an institution that is an ORCID member, but doesn’t have a DSpace repository, could still use the IOI application to add institutional employment and education information to their researchers’ ORCID records.
What’s your favorite ORCID success story at KAUST?
It has been exciting to see the use of ORCID iDs spread through the scholarly ecosystem. We often are introducing ORCID to students or other researchers and find not only that they already have an ORCID iD, but that they have used it with systems or in ways that we didn’t even know about before.