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Boycotting ResearcherID?

So I just got this note from Thomson Reuters in my inbox, regarding their new ResearcherID service:

When you register with ResearcherID you are assigned a unique author identifier that expressly associates you with your work, helping to eliminate the common problem of author misidentification.
I’m presented then, with an ethical dilemma: do I participate because it’s probably in my personal interest to do so, or do I boycott this in favor of larger principles because of Thomson Reuters’ otherwise reprehensible activities (the Zotero suit)?

My tentative answer: boycott. I already have something that identifies me: http://bruce.darcus.name/about#me.

7 Comments

  1. Rintze says:

    I was thinking the same thing. Some more discussion on the various efforts for identifying researchers: http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/03/multiple-initiatives-vie-to-give-scientists-unique-ids.ars

  2. Rintze says:

    Also, one of the commenters of the previous linked-to Arstechnica post already did performed an analysis of the service of his own: http://dltj.org/article/passing-on-researcherid/

  3. darcusb says:

    Which confirms my initial intuition: there’s no way in hell I’ll be supporting this, and I would happily put my name to a “boycott ResearcherID” effort!

    Aside: as I hinted at in my post, I think that a) any id system has to be distributed, and b) HTTP-resolvable URIs are the way to do this.

  4. Wait for Contributor ID, which is a CrossRef project.

  5. darcusb says:

    @Martin: I’ve vaguely heard about that project, but don’t entirely understand what it is. If it’s just another DOI project, then I’m not sure I’m encouraged.

    If, OTOH, it’s HTTP URI-based and distributed a la OpenID, then I’d be more interested.

    Which is it?

    To get a sense of what I’d like to see more generally, you can try (though I need to add some triples to point to my pubs):

    curl -H "Accept: application/rdf+xml" http://bruce.darcus.name/about#me .

  6. Contributor ID is still work in progress, but will probably not be distributed. You can find the reasoning for this and more info here: http://www.crossref.org/CrossTech/2009/03/researcheridentificationprim.html

  7. darcusb says:

    Thanks!

    I just glanced at that quickly, but it seemed to suggest the possibility of a distributed system. If there is some service somewhere, for example, I really ought to be able to give it my URI, and have it link to my personal profile information (publications and such). I also ought to be able to associate it with other, similar, sort of profile/identifiers; like, say, an Open Library contributor profile.

    As I’ve said more than once, a centralized system will fail.

    Aside: the gendered language of that primer (”… given that a researcher has registered with CrossReg to claim his profile (and in the process supplied proof that he is who he claims to be), he could then associate …”) is pretty off-putting. Someone really ought to clean that up.