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ORCID announces changes in member agreements and new authentication-only API -

ORCID, a non-profit organisation that provides an open registry of unique identifiers for researchers, has reviewed its member agreements to incorporate feedback received from the community, as part of the organisation's first anniversary.

A number of changes have been announced. ORCID hopes that these changes will encourage responsible use of ORCID identifiers and streamline the membership and integration process, including an Authentication-only API that does not require membership.

Over the past year, a number of groups, including BioShare, have been requesting that ORCID provide fee-free, public access to the authentication component of the ORCID service. This is of particular concern for those groups that are not legal entities — such as grant funded consortia - and cannot sign a member agreement. It has also been observed that a number of organisations are 'integrating' ORCID identifiers by providing a type-in field for users. This presents a significant data quality issue, allowing typographical and other errors to enter into databases.

In March 2014, ORCID will be providing an authentication-only API that does not require membership. This API can be used, for instance, in a workflow in which users are asked to log into their ORCID account (or create one) as one step in a data deposit workflow, and then their ORCID ID is returned to the deposit system in a computer-to-computer interaction.

According to ORCID, splitting member agreements into 'Trusted Party' and 'Creator' license options will help streamline the membership sign-up process. Those organisations that want to be able to request access from record holders to write to ORCID records and read limited access data may now sign a Trusted Party license that removes indemnity provisions. Those organisations that wish to create ORCID records for their employees and affiliates will find that the new Creator agreement includes a narrowed, reciprocal indemnity clause with a cap. Both new license agreements have reciprocal liability caps and limited damages. Existing members may elect to keep their current agreements or sign the new version upon renewal.

Support terms for current and new Basic and Premium members have been clarified to ensure quality technical support while controlling costs. Basic members receive support for one set of client credentials, email support and integrated user acceptance testing for up to four releases or major updates per year. Premium members receive monthly usage reports, support for up to five sets of client credentials, priority queue for help desk requests, and user acceptance testing for an unlimited number of releases per year.

Click here to read the original press release.

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