Nature recently wrote an article on a proposed Author ID system. I find this momentous.
In my vision of the Future of Science Publishing, which is highly based on the way we currently use the Social Web, one of the key sticking points was the need to authenticate authors. By authenticating authors in a kind of OpenID way, authenticity, reputation, citations, publications, and activity streams could be automatically managed.
What really excited me is that this author ID system, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID), is backed by 23 organizations, including Thomson Reuters, Nature Publishing Group, Elsevier, ProQuest, Springer, CrossRef, the British Library and the Wellcome Trust. In short, those most threatened by the dismantling of the science publishing system are taking an active role in reforming it.
Furthermore, these companies recognize that this system not only brings recognition to authors in huge multi-author projects, but "could also be assigned to data sets they helped to generate, comments on their colleagues' blog posts or unpublished draft papers, edits of Wikipedia entries and much else besides."
They also mention the Digital Object Identifier (DOI), a unique indetifier for papers, books, and "scholarly publication." An ORCID and a DOI (and an immutable time stamp) is all that's need to release science publication from its current story-contained-in-single-paper so that each morsel of info can be labeled with a OCID/DOI/Time stamp and be linkable, comment-able, embed-able, feed-able, and search-able. Just as Tim Berners-Lee intended.
While this is a promising direction, I think the current edifice of science publishing is still going to be around for a while, so outfits like Mendeley will still add a layer of value for some time to come.
So, what do you think of this development? Do you think ORCID will radically change the way we share science information?