ORCID membership options for small non-profit organizations and groups

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5 comments

  • Laure Haak
    ORCID provides a service provider membership option. The member can provide authentication-only services for its customers. The customer needs to sign a subagreement, but does not need to be an ORCID member or pay a fee. More information on this member type is posted on our member page, at http://about.orcid.org/about/membership. On reading of the open letter, it appears that this type of membership would be appropriate for the GEN2PHEN and BioSHaRE Consortia. We welcome an open conversation with the consortia to explore this further.
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  • Ed Pentz
    I agree that ORCID membership tiers should be flexible (and possibly lower) to address the needs of different initiatives and research projects. However, I think the proposal for no-cost/fee waived option for a project like GEN2PHEN isn't a good idea. ORCID needs a sustainable model to ensure long term persistence. GEN2PHEN involves some major institutions and over €11 million in funding so it should be possible for them to pay a relatively modest fee to help support critical infrastructure. If they issue is that GEN2PHEN is a loose consortium with no central legal entity that can be worked out.
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  • Rob Hastings
    On behalf of GEN2PHEN and BioSHaRE: Thank you for engaging with GEN2PHEN and BioShaRE on the matter of wider access to the ORCID API and proposing a potential solution. We have discussed your suggestion regarding the “service provider membership option”. However, unfortunately this model does not solve the core problem we raised – i.e., single academic and non-profit teams not being able to afford the standard license, and consortia projects having no legal or long-term basis for paying the license. Most problematically, your proposed suggestion fails in that (at least from what we can glean from website) the authentication-only version of the API is not yet technically available. But furthermore, even if that option did exist today it would not be viable to have one partner in a consortium acting as the service provider 'middleman' (for example the project coordinator’s institution) because that arrangement would 'break' as soon as the project-funding period ended. Therefore, we respectfully suggest to ORCID that an authentication-only option be created with some urgency, in addition to establishing one or more long-term, low-cost (academic / nonprofit) middlemen. The scale of fee we feel each individual group would then be happy to pay would be of the order of USD 50-100 per year per client/partner. If this can be arranged it would essentially eliminate all the main barriers preventing ORCID uptake in consortia projects like ours, allowing tools built as part of consortia projects to stay active as members that utilize ORCID services once the project formally comes to an end. Hopefully, you can grow your support systems to facilitate this kind of arrangement in the near future. This would then provide ORCID with a revenue stream from a substantial pool of research groups that would otherwise not join as members, and thereby greatly encourage the service to become a core costing component in many more future research grants.
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  • Laure Haak
    ORCID is working to identify a service provider that can support authenticated access by small teams. Suggestions are welcome, we'll do the footwork.
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  • Ana Cardoso

    Quick update about support for "small integrators." We recently announced a beta tester program for a free service we are adding to our API. This service enables developers to use the freely-available public ORCID API to receive an authenticated ORCID iD from a user. In some situations this feature could also be used as a social login to a system (depending on your security needs.) Details about this program can be found in our blog at:

    http://orcid.org/blog/2014/04/29/beta-participants-wanted-public-authenticated-ids

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    ORCID offers a number of membership options, including non-profit discounts, which are described at http://about.orcid.org/about/membership. The membership levels currently in place were not designed to favor any particular type of institution, but instead to meet the needs of our various members. ORCID depends on the fees from members to operate and to provide free access for individuals, and at this time, offering a no-cost option, especially for an organization as large as GEN2PHEN, isn't possible. But, as ORCID grows and more organizations join as members, we will revisit the membership levels and consider adding more options.

    As for the specific concerns of GEN2PHEN and the BioSHaRE Consortia joining ORCID, Ed and Laure have mentioned some options in their comments.

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