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Italy Launches National ORCID Implementation

22 June 2015

ORCID is a community-driven non-profit organization that aims to solve the name ambiguity problem in research and scholarly communications. ORCID maintains a central registry of unique identifiers for individual researchers and provides open and transparent processes for connecting ORCID iDs with persistent identifiers for people, organizations, and research activities and outputs. Italy will be implementing ORCID,  on a national scale, and has signed a three-year consortium membership agreement with ORCID. 

The national agreement

Under the auspices of ANVUR and CRUI (the Conference of Italian University Rectors), 70 universities and four research centers will initially participate in the consortium. This large-scale adoption will underpin the IRIDE (Italian Researcher IDentifier for Evaluation) Project, using a platform developed by Cineca. The project’s goal is to ensure that at least 80% of Italian researchers have an ORCID iD, with links to their research output back to 2006, by the end of 2016. 

As a result of this agreement, Italian researchers and their institutions will benefit from access to and integration with the ORCID registry, including setting up and maintaining disambiguated records for all researchers and linking these to their publications and other research outputs - leading in turn to a simpler, more reliable evaluation process.

VQR, the Italian national research assessment exercise

The Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of the University and Research Institutes, ANVUR, manages the VQR, a four-year summative national research assessment exercise, in which all Italian universities participate.  ANVUR sees the use of ORCID in the VQR as a means to reduce the reporting workload for researchers and administrators alike, while at the same time improving data quality.  To this end, ANVUR plans to require researchers participating in the 2011-2014 VQR to register for an ORCID iD, and connect their ORCID record and relevant bibliometric databases with all publications submitted for evaluation.  Professor Stefano Fantoni, President of ANVUR stated that: “ANVUR is pleased for this agreement, as it will facilitate and make more reliable the Agency’s evaluation tasks. In particular, the incoming national assessment of research (VQR 2011-2014) will constitute an occasion not to be missed to provide all Italian professors and researchers with the ORCID identifier and to link to it the publications submitted for evaluation”.

The partners

Cineca, a not-for-profit consortium representing 70 Italian universities, four Italian research institutions, and the Italian Ministry of Education, is responsible for the ORCID implementation. Cineca’s role includes creating a central ORCID hub that will facilitate the adoption of the identifier by Italian researchers, enabling immediate use of the API from the member’s institution, collecting authorizations required to use the Identifier in multiple services, and providing reporting functionalities. The next step will be to use this approach to provide innovative services such as synchronization and notification. Cineca’s intention is to release the Hub as open-source software, to help other countries to profit from this experience. The Hub will be integrated with IRIS, Cineca’s RIMS solution based on DSpace-CRIS. Cineca’s President, Professor Emilio Ferrari welcomed the agreement: “At Cineca we are pleased and proud to continue to support the national academic system with our skills and infrastructures: the implementation of ORCID is part of the activities that characterize the role of service of the consortium to the research community”.

ORCID will be supporting the rollout in Italy with technical help desk advice, an Italian user interface and communications documentation, and a central web interface to enable participating universities to coordinate effort.  Executive Director, Laure Haak, noted that: “This large-scale ORCID implementation shows how persistent identifiers can be used to improve the flow of research information. Connecting national and international research infrastructures is a great way to deliver a better experience for researchers and administrators who have to collec t and share information about research. Our team is looking forward to working with CINECA, in concert with other ORCID member organizations, to ensure a smooth integration.” 

ABOUT ANVUR:
ANVUR is the independent Italian Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes that started its operation in May 2011. It is charge of evaluating the research and teaching activities of all Italian universities, public and private, and the research activities of the research centers operating under the supervision of the Italian Ministry of Education and Research. Among its tasks, ANVUR  approves the initial accreditation all new universities courses, including PhD  programs, and it is in charge of the periodic national assessment of the quality of research performed in universities and research centers. It has concluded the first massive assessment (VQR 2004-2010) in 2013, and is now working toward the next one concerning the years 2011-2014.

ABOUT CINECA:
Cineca (http://www.cineca.it) is a not-for-profit consortium, made up of 70 Italian universities, four Italian Research Institutions, and the Italian Ministry of Education. Today it is the largest Italian Computing Centre and one of the most important worldwide. With more than 800 employees, it operates in the technological transfer sector through high performance scientific computing, the management and development of networks and web based services, and the development of complex information systems for treating large amounts of data. It develops advanced Information Technology applications and services, acting like a trait-d'union between the academic world, the sphere of pure research, and the world of industry and Public Administration. For more information contact Andrea Bollini, Cineca-ORCID Project Leader, at andrea.bollini@cineca.it

ABOUT CRUI:
CRUI is the association of the state and private universities.
Established in 1963 as a private association of Rectors, the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI) has over time acquired an acknowledged institutional and representative role, as well as a practical capacity to influence the development of the university system through its intense activity of study and experimentation.
Since 2001, the Conference of Italian University Rectors has been flanked in its managerial and executive functions by the CRUI Foundation, which is entrusted with developing projects and services in conformity with the strategies of the Conference of Italian University Rectors.

ABOUT ORCID:
ORCID (http://orcid.org) is a community-driven non-profit organization that aims to solve the name ambiguity problem in research and scholarly communications. ORCID maintains a central registry of unique identifiers for individual researchers and provides open and transparent processes for connecting ORCID iDs with persistent identifiers for people, organizations, and research activities and outputs.  Connecting these identifiers can improve the research and scholarly discovery process, reduce reporting burdens, increase the efficiency of research funding, and support sharing and collaboration within the research community.  For more information contact Laurel Haak, ORCID Executive Director, at l.haak@orcid.org.