In a joint open letter published on their websites, the GEN2PHEN and BioSHaRE Consortia criticize ORCID's membership structure and annual subscription fee tiers (http://about.orcid.org/about/membership), pointing out that the membership model favours larger organizations, such as commercial publishers and major research institutions, and is incompatible with academic research projects, particularly smaller ones. The letter proposes the following modifications to the model which act to lower the threshold for participation from the many "small integrators" in the biomedical research community and beyond, enabling them to benefit from ORCID integration: A) Add a no-cost "limited membership" option, enabling integrators to register and access a limited, read-only subset of the API functionality currently only available through the member API. B) Add lower-cost tiers and/or no-cost waiver option for full membership, to facilitate integration by smaller, non-profit organizations expected to be light users of the service. Full details on the GEN2PHEN and BioSHaRE websites: http://www.gen2phen.org/syndicatednews/2013-03/open-letter-open-researcher-contributor-id-initiative-orcid-gen2phen https://www.bioshare.eu/content/open-letter-open-researcher-contributor-id-initiative-orcid-bioshare GEN2PHEN and BioSHaRE together comprise 35 non-profit institutions based in Europe and beyond. These projects have been awarded substantial EU funding to build and operate a diverse collection of online databases and tools for biobanking, primary and translational research.
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