ORCIDs and DOIs 
SBA research support: unique identifiers for authors and publications


If you need more information on this topic contact your library:
 ricercabali@unive.it,  ricercabas@unive.it,  ricercabaum@unive.it,  ricercabec@unive.it,  bda@unive.it 

Scientific publications are essentially disseminated through the Internet. As the Internet continues to expand, it becomes difficult to retrieve digital objects. Often, the name or storage location of a digital object changes over time, and the information is no longer reachable.
Persistent IDentifiers (PIDs) or persistent and unique identifiers, which serve to uniquely and permanently identify articles and their authors, regardless of storage location, become indispensable.
PIDs linked to a set of metadata enable different platforms to exchange information in a coherent and unambiguous manner and are therefore essential for building and maintaining reliable and secure links among objects, people, communities and infrastructures.

PIDs are essentially of 2 types:

  1. Personal PIDs or author's identifiers (ORCIDs) identifying the author
  2. PIDs for objects (DOIs) identifying publications, data, software

Using personal PIDs offers numerous advantages:

  • identifying the author with certainty by eliminating ambiguity in the case of common names
  • correctly associating publications and research data with their author
  • optimising the management of one's publications by making them more visible and saving time in extracting data and one's bibliography
  • improving publication metrics
  • complying with certain obligations linked to the granting of financing.


ORCID, an acronym that stands for Open Researcher and Contributor ID, is a 16-digit, universal, unique and open code used to identify authors of scientific publications. It is a non-proprietary code developed by a non-commercial platform and not tied to a specific database aimed at building a register of unique identifiers of researchers.
By linking one's ORCID ID to the institutional repository or to platforms such as arXiv, Crossref, DataCite and Zenodo, or to other author's IDs (WOS's ResearcherID or Scopus Author ID), you will avoid entering the same information several times in different sites, as these platforms will be updated automatically each time the ORCID profile is implemented.
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Publications and research data must be citable and retrievable over time. PIDs make it possible to assign an identifier to an article or dataset that is:

  • unique: the PID assigns a kind of “tax code” to the digital object that leads back to that object only
  • permanent: the PID remains valid even if the details of the web page where it is hosted change, preventing the occurrence of the “404 error”
  • (linkable): the PID is often (but not always) a URL address that leads directly to the resource, without having to search for it on the web page where it is hosted.

DOI - Digital Object Identifier

The DOI is the most widely used PID system for publications, data and software in all subjects. It is a handle-based identification code that is assigned to a digital object (article, journal, e-book, doctoral thesis, database, dataset), to which a set of metadata is linked, i.e. bibliographic information such as author, title, publisher, publication date, related to the digital object to which it refers.

DOIs are assigned by registration agencies such as DataCite and Crossref, as coordinated by the International DOI Foundation.

Other unique identifiers for publications

  • ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a 13-digit code that uniquely and durably identifies the individual edition of a printed or electronic book at an international level, assigned for Italy by the Italian ISBN agency [ITA].
  • ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is an 8-digit code that identifies a printed or electronic periodical edition, assigned by the national ISSN centres coordinated by the ISSN International Centre (for Italy, the assignment is managed by the Italian ISSN Centre [ITA] of the CNR). The ISSN is particularly useful to distinguish between journals with the same title.

ISBNs and ISSNs are also referred to as URNs (Uniform Resource Names), i.e., unique and persistent identifiers that, unlike the URL, do not allow the location of the resource itself to be identified and are not linkable (unlike ORCID and DOI).

Last update: 08/05/2024