ORCID is a registry of research identifiers. Its purpose is to distinguish scholars from one another (regardless of name variants) and provide those scholars with a means of linking to and sharing their research objects with others, including journal articles, data sets, multimedia projects, and patents. ORCID's goal is to provide one central service that links with other research identifiers. This eliminates scholars' need to enter and re-enter the same data and information in different systems.
ORCID is open access and free to download. It is especially useful for linking to one's work on a personal website, on a grant application, or on a patent application. In addition, ORCID's services are for scholars in any discipline, type of organization, or geographic location.
ORCID has a helpful FAQ section that answers questions about their policies as well as the technical side of their service.