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The Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) has been launched this year. It is an identifier system that will distinguish between authors who share the same name. It aims at reliably attributing research outputs to their true author by assigning every scientist in the world a machine-readable, 16-digit unique digital identifier. If ORCID takes off, it could increase the precision and breadth of scientific metrics and help in developing new analyses of social networks.