Skip to content

1. Introduction

About ORCID

ORCID provides a persistent identifier for researchers AND tools (like APIs) to help make connections between researchers, their contributions, and affiliations. Why? To help people find information, and to simplify reporting and analysis.

ORCID wants to help make it possible to do things like:

  • Find all of a researcher’s work with a single query
  • Auto-populate manuscript submission and grant application forms
  • Find the current affiliation(s) of any researcher

ORCID can't do this on its own - integrations with other systems (like manuscript submission/production, funding application, repository, research information, and directory systems) are essential.

About this tutorial

This tutorial provides an introduction to integrating ORCID into your systems, so that, together, we can help everyone involved in research spend more time making contributions and less time managing them!

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • The types of ORCID APIs and what you can do with them
  • How to get set up with the ORCID Sandbox to test your API integration
  • How to read and search information from the public API
  • What a Client ID and Client Secret is and how to use them
  • How to get an access token using the mysterious 3-legged OAuth process

Pre-requisites

To complete this tutorial, you'll need the following tools:

  • Web browser: (that's up to date)
  • Internet connection
  • Plain text editor: TextEdit (Mac), Notepad++ (Win), or your preferred plain text editor
  • Software capable of making HTTP requests:

Examples in this doc use Google OAuth Playground

You can also use:

  • cURL: Free, command-line application available for Mac or Windows (pre-installed on most Mac OS versions; accessible within Terminal application)
  • Or other online tools, like Insomnia or Postman

Once you have got to grips with the APIs you can use our Swagger graphical interface.

About the ORCID APIs

ORCID's web interface gives researchers a way to interact with their record, but the real power of ORCID lies in the underlying data, which can be accessed by people and systems via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

  • Public API: Free to anyone with an ORCID iD
  • Member API: Available to ORCID member organizations (Sandbox Member API freely available for testing)
  • Premium Member API Available to ORCID premium member organizations (Sandbox Member API freely available for testing)
Features Public API Member API Premium Member API
Authenticate: Get a user’s authenticated ORCID iD yes yes yes
Read (Public): Read public data on ORCID records yes yes yes
Create: Help researchers register for an ORCID iD using our create-on-demand process yes yes yes
Read (Limited): Read limited-access data on ORCID records no yes yes
Add: Post new items to a record no yes yes
Update: Edit or delete items you previously added no yes yes
Integration with your system using an API client no yes one only yes up to five
Webhooks: Receive notifications of updates to your users' ORCID records no no yes

All of the ORCID APIs are based on the same set of technologies:

  • REST: ORCID APIs are "RESTful", which means that they use HTTP to transfer information.
  • OAuth: ORCID APIs use the OAuth 2.0 authentication protocol to grant client applications access to users' ORCID records.
  • XML/JSON: ORCID APIs support data exchange in either XML or JSON format.

Learn more about the ORCID APIs