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One of the advantages of having the same name as somebody else in your profession is that you’re pretty protected from random Google searches: Nobody’s going to find me amid the torrent of stuff from and about David Brooks of New York Times fame.

But that’s also a disadvantage, if you want attention. For example, if you’re a scientist who wants people to know that you’ve published research in journals.

As Science reports (here), a system called ORCID is gaining favor among researchers as a way to assign a unique ID to people so that important folks like grant-givers can be certain who has done which work.  “We’re an open, non-profit, community-based effort to provide a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers,” is how ORCID (as in Open Research & Collaborator I.D.) describes itself.

I am happy to say that I have an ORCID number now, to separate me from the five other David Brookses who have signed up. (None, as far as I can tell, from the New York Times.) So when I finally get around to proving that Einstein Is Wrong And I Am Right, you can be sure I get credit!


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