Observing Growth In Popularity of ORCID: An SEO Analysis

The ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) service was launched recently. From the ORCID Web site we learn that

ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized

We would expect all public networked services to have an interest in monitoring take-up of the service, especially in the period after the launch. The ORCID team will be monitoring registrations on the service, but it is also possible to monitor the growth of a networked service by monitoring the links to the service.

The MajesticSEO tool can be used to monitor links to a Web site, and provide information on the number of links and domains as well as providing additional information such as the Alexa ranking the domains, link text used, resources linked to, etc.

The findings from the MajesticSEO tool taken on 15 November 2012 are illustrated. As can be seen there are currently 521 domains linking to the service, with a total of 11,923 links, 2,295 of which are from educational institutions.

The current findings can be viewed on the MajesticSEO Web site (a free subscription is needed to view the findings). The findings for the top ten referring domains are shown below.

# Referring Domains Backlinks Alexa Rank Flow Metrics
1 hull.name 2,462      N/A 24 26
2 figshare.com 2,086 279,286 27 22
3 upc.edu 2,049   21,837 63 65
4 neilernst.net    755        N/A 17 10
5 duraspace.org    410 718,279 47 49
6 knowledgespeak.com    351        N/A 33 25
7 knowledgenavigator.ca    241        N/A   9   5
8 datadryad.org    197        N/A 30 26
9 mchabib.com    170        N/A 22 16
10 wordpress.com    144        22 95 93

The hull.name domains appears to me an anomaly.  Following discussions with the owner of this domain, a researcher at the University of Manchester it appears he is not carrying out any ORCID development or harvesting activities, so perhaps there was a flaw in the data collection carried out by the MajesticSEO service. The other entries in the table give an indication of the organisations which seems to be early adopters of ORCID or, perhaps in the case of WordPress.com, suggest where blog posts about ORCID are being discussed.

Sorting the table by Alexa ranking shows the most highly ranked Web services which contain links to the ORCID site.

# Referring Domains Alexa Rank Backlinks Flow Metrics
1 google.com   2    1 99 99
2 blogspot.com  11   37 98 94
3 wordpress.com  22 144 95 93
4 slideshare.net 177     1 79 77
5 guardian.co.uk 192     6 91 88
6 blogspot.com.es 238     4 62 52
7 hatena.ne.jp 281     1 82 69
8 blogspot.co.uk 290     2 64 55
9 typepad.com 317    21 87 83
10 blogspot.de 342      4 67 54

The presence of two popular cloud-based blog platforms, WordPress.com and Blogspot.com, suggest that researchers are either talking about ORCID on these blogs or perhaps even linking to ORCID records from blog posts. However the number of links are currently too small to draw any significant conclusions from the findings.

But perhaps of most interest is the geographical display of take-up of ORCID IDs.  The global map probably reflects the location of leading research institutions and publishers of research journals. But zooming in on the UK provides a more interesting view of the location of Web sites which have links to the ORCID domain.  Bath is currently represented by 22 links from the UKOLN Web site and one from the Ariadne ejournal. As mentioned above, the map is skewed by the large numbers of links from the hull.name domain which is based in Manchester which has 2,462 links. Two locations for Scotland are shown: 9 links from the Edinburgh University Web site, 3 from EDINA and 3 from the DCC. The other location is the city of ‘Heriot’ (which actually refers to Heriot-Watt University which is based in Edinburgh).

It will be interesting to observe how this map develops as ORCID takes off.

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  1. Why You Should Do More Than Simply Claiming Your ORCID ID « UK Web Focus - [...] Observing Growth In Popularity of ORCID: An SEO Analysis [...]

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