In January 2016, ORCID announced that a number of publishers - eLife, PLOS, the Royal Society, IEEE, AGU, EMBO, and Science - plan to require submitting authors to register for and provide ORCID IDs.
In its own words,
ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-driven effort to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers. ORCID is unique in its ability to reach across disciplines, research sectors and national boundaries. It is a hub that connects researchers and research through the embedding of ORCID identifiers in key workflows, such as research profile maintenance, manuscript submissions, grant applications, and patent applications.
ORCID provides two core functions: (1) a registry to obtain a unique identifier and manage a record of activities, and (2) APIs that support system-to-system communication and authentication.
As ORCID puts it,
Benefits for researchers, in addition to improved discoverability of their works, include single sign-on across journals and streamlined data entry. The recent launch of Crossref’s auto-update functionality means that researchers can opt to have their ORCID record automatically updated when their papers are published, which in turn means that university and other systems can receive updates directly and reduce reporting burden on researchers.
To learn more about the benefits of ORCID and how to get started, contact your departmental librarian.