Desperately seeking scientists | Nature Index

August 12, 2019

Reunion coverage + Useful suggestion for ORCID that can be done with a secondary email

https://www.natureindex.com/news-blog/one-in-five-email-addresses-researcher-journal-articles-invalid-problem

QT:{{”
Mark Gerstein, the Albert Williams Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, lists over 200 members on his lab’s alumni page, about half of whom were PhD students and postdocs. Recently, he invited many of them to a lab reunion. But first, he had to find them.
“It’s a nontrivial thing keeping track of peoples’ emails,” he says. The lab maintains a database of past members, but he’s now established a LinkedIn group, which has been particularly useful, he says. Former lab members who are on the social network can associate themselves with the lab, thus providing a mechanism for staying in touch. If nothing else, Gerstein notes, he likes to be able to contact lab expats in case there’s ever a question about an old project – for instance, to clarify a protocol or locate a file.

A third solution would be for a third-party ‘scientific directory’ service such as ORCID to add a mechanism for contacting authors, such as a button or form to send a message.
Laure Haak, Executive Director of ORCID, says, “At the current time, ORCID does not have these features on our roadmap.”
In the meantime, it is possible to make the email addresses in an ORCID profile public; go to Account Settings > Email and Notification Preferences, and change “who can see this” from “only me” to “everyone”.
Of course, even were the organization to add a messaging feature, overtaxed researchers may not read them.
“People get so much email,” Gerstein says. “I suspect people would ignore the messages.”
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