I blogged earlier this year inviting feedback on the OCLC Research Registering Researchers in Authority Files Task Group‘s draft report-and we did receive some, much appreciated. Now the report is published!
Along with it, we’ve published supplementary datasets detailing our research:
- our use case scenarios
- characteristics profiles of 20 research networking or identifier systems
- an Excel workbook with
- links to 100 systems the task group considered
- the functional requirements derived from the use case scenarios and their associated stakeholders
- compilation of the 20 characteristics profiles for easy comparison
- the 20 profiled systems mapped to their functional requirements.
The report, supplementary datasets, and a slide with the Researcher Identifier Information Flow diagram used in the report (and which can be repurposed, with attribution) are all available on the Registering Researchers in Authority Files report landing page.
If I had to choose the key message from all of this, it would be that research institutions and libraries need to recognize that “authors are not strings” and that persistent identifiers are needed to accurately link their researchers with their scholarly output and to funders.
The report could be considered the “executive summary” of the task group’s two years’ worth of research. No one identifier or system will ever include all researchers, or meet all functional requirements of every stakeholder. If you’re weighing pros and cons of different identifier systems, I’d suggest you look at the profiles and our mappings to the functional requirements.
Collaborating with such talented experts on the task group has been a great pleasure. Now that we’ve delivered our final output, I’m looking forward to your reactions and feedback!
Karen Smith-Yoshimura, senior program officer, topics related to creating and managing metadata with a focus on large research libraries and multilingual requirements. Karen retired from OCLC November 2020.