ORCIDs (Open Researcher and Contributor Identifiers) are alphanumeric strings that can travel with your research to identify it as yours. ORCID identifiers are issued by a not-for-profit organization that has evolved partnerships with publishers, funders, and universities--all of which are deeply invested in improving access to research across various systems.
ORCID provides you with both an identifier and a place where you can list your publications and research affiliations. To get started, navigate to this registration page. You will be prompted for a primary email address and default privacy settings. Note that there is no cost to register for an ORCID ID.
Add personal information to your profile. At minimum, it's helpful to indicate your current employer and other names that you have published under (see headings for "Employment" and "Also Known As").
Under "Websites" (left-hand column), include links to any personal webpages.
Under "Funding" and "Works," add grants and publications you have completed. Note that both sections allow you to import your grant awards and publications from other systems. Select "Add Works --> Search and Link" to import from UberWizard (for grants) and Web of Science, Scopus, and CrossRef (for works). Note that "Scopus via ORCID" will retrieve Elsevier publications while "ResearcherID" will retrieve publications in Web of Science and "CrossRef" will retrieve publications from any publisher that assigns a DOI to articles.
Enable "auto updates" so that works can be automatically added to your ORCID profile once published. This option cuts down on the time you'd need to spend updating your ORCID profile, though note that not all citations may come through the automatic updates.
If you cannot find citations using the "Search and Link" tool, enter your works manually or follow these instructions on importing citations from Google Scholar.
See these instructions for more detailed information about how to fill in your ORCID profile.
When or not you've filled in your ORCID profile, once you have the ORCID iD, you can use it in the following ways: