Like all sites on the internet which contain publicly accessible user-generated content, ORCID faces a never-ending influx of bots and link farmers attempting to create spam records in order to try to gain some small advantage in search engine ranking. ORCID takes the standard technical measures to prevent such so-called link spam, and our hard-working support team regularly runs heuristics to detect and lock spam records.
Balancing aggressive spam prevention and ease of registry use
We could be more aggressive in our approach, however, there is a trade off between being more successful in preventing and detecting spam, and keeping the ORCID registry is easy to use for legitimate users. This is particularly difficult when running an open, inclusive system aiming to serve researchers around the world. For example, social scientists or computer scientists may be researching and writing articles about bitcoin; researchers in some countries have names which are considered offensive words in other countries — for example, the surname “Porn”, while not common, can be found in Brazil and Taiwan.
The impact of spam on the use of ORCID is limited
We estimate that less than 2% of our records are spam. Fortunately for our researchers and our members, the impact of such records on the use of ORCID is limited. In the authenticated workflows that we encourage, these records are not surfaced. And we encourage users of ORCID data to evaluate the trustworthiness of each record for themselves, looking for signals such as validated assertions made by trusted parties such as research institutions and publishers.
Our community is one of our most powerful weapons in the battle against spam
We continue to evaluate and improve our processes for detecting and managing spam. However, as a community-driven initiative, it is our ever-growing community itself that is one of our most powerful weapons in this battle. We rely on the vigilance and goodwill of users to root out and alert us to fraudulent records via our dispute resolution process and invite you to continue this by reporting any problematic records you find to our Support Team.