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Why PhD students should have an ORCID ID

An ORCID ID is a personal identifier that tracks a scholar’s work and publications. It is free to register an ORCID ID and shows up next to your name in most journal publications. PhD students should ideally get an ORCID ID before their first publication.


What is an ORCID ID

There are so many academic websites and tools out there that it can be difficult to decide what makes sense and what doesn’t. An ORCID ID, however, is a no-brainer.

An ORCID ID tracks your academic work and allows others to view your profile. For instance, you publish an online article. If you have an ORCID ID, most journals include a little green button linking to your ORCID profile next to your name.

If someone gets curious about you and your work, they can simply look you up based on your ORCID ID. They will be able to see what else you have published, and where you work (if you decide to share this information).


How to set up an ORCID ID

To get your unique ORCID ID, go to You can register with your google account, Facebook or email. A work email address or private email address that sounds serious is recommended. You don’t want to register with anything resembling This would be very unacademic.

Once you set up your account, you can edit your profile. You have the option to include your work history, listing relevant institutions and degrees. As a PhD student, list your bachelor’s and master’s programs.

You can also list work experiences but stick to the relevant ones. This is an academic website, so refrain from informing people that you worked as a bartender while studying. It is irrelevant.

You can also include information on awards, prices, memberships and funding. Make sure to include only information that you are willing to share with a large network.

You may also like: The value of a personal academic website

Adding publications to your ORCID profile

The most important section of your ORCID profile is the “Works” section. When you publish a journal article and include your ORCID ID, it is usually automatically added to your profile.

Sometimes, the automatic system does not recognize your publication automatically. But no worries. If it does not work you have the option of adding works manually.

However, first, try the automated route. Visitors to your profile can see whether you added a publication, or whether it was added automatically via an academic search engine, such as google scholar. The latter provides more legitimacy to your profile.

Why you should get an ORCID ID

The unique identification of a researcher based on an ORCID ID is a game changer in academia. Most (online) journals showcase author names and their host institutions. However, especially young academics, such as PhD students often change their institutions.

Thus, an ORCID ID can help others “track you down” even after changing jobs. Your work will forever be connected to updated information on your profile, and research trajectory. You never know who is going to read your work. Maybe someone is interested in your publication, checks out your ORCID profile and gets in touch with you.

Getting an ORCID ID is completely free. ORCID is a non-governmental organization that is financed by contributions of its member organizations. Individual researchers don’t have to pay.

When to get an ORCID ID

In the last years, ORCID has become a stable academic tool that most researchers, in most disciplines, use. Thus, if it is not too late, make sure you have an ORCID ID before you publish your first work.

ORCID IDs are recommended for researchers who strive for an academic career, and for those who aim for a career outside of academia. You put a lot of effort into your work, so you should always be found online to get credit for it!

Master Academia

Hello, I'm Master Academia, a tenured professor dedicated to guiding individuals through their academic journey. With experience and insights from studying and working across different academic systems, I currently work full-time at a university in Western Europe. Recognizing the impact of unspoken rules in academia, I founded Master Academia to make academic knowledge more accessible to all.

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