PIDs for parliamentarians and political candidates

Hi all,

I’ve just had a query about developing a unique ID for a database of Australian parliamentarians and political candidates. Eventually the plan is to extend this to a global system (the people involved are working as part of an international research network) and to connect to other suitable resources - the Australian Parliamentary Library for example.

They could come up with their own ID, but if there is an existing PID then I’d rather suggest they use that. I’m not sure if ORCID can be used in this way as these are technically not researchers or necessarily involved in the research process.

Can anyone suggest a suitable identifier? Possibly in the Libraries/Archives/GLAM domain. They are currently thinking of ISNIs. We do have a national identifier that can be assigned by our National Library but it’s not ideal as it’s not an international PID and the way of obtaining this type of PID is not easy.


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I think using ORCID iDs for parliamentarians and political candidates is a great idea, I’ll take it internally and get back to you. Thanks Natasha!

Thanks Shawna. I’ll be very interested in ORCIDs response. In my mind, using ORCIDs for this purpose would break the ORCID model because the group is not researchers, may not have works to attached (in the case of potential political candidates anyway, the actual parliamentarians would have works such as speeches, reports etc) and it’s unlikely that they would sign up for it themselves (they don’t have the same incentives are researchers in that they don’t need to show research outputs and have other ways of demonstrating their value/impact). However, I’m very grateful that you’re asking the question!

If not ORCID, what could be used? ISNI does seem a possible option. Thanks for any/all responses.

Hi Natasha

The German Wikipedia uses GND, LCCN, and VIAF to identify people, including politicians. I wonder whether there is a need for yet another identifier.

My feeling would be that this is a very good application domain for national libraries. ORCID would be weird both from the point of view of scope, but also of potential digital independence when it has to do with official publication figures. Laurent


So, the UK database at the Houses of Parliament uses an internal identifier currently - for elected representatives. I wonder if the wikidata / BL people might have some insight on this? I guess ISNI would be the other candidate?!

HoP example data:

I’d certainly be interested

Natasha, my definition of a “researcher” is broadening with time and experience. I feel like a case could be made for parliamentarians and political candidates to use ORCID iDs, especially if there is a desire for the individual to control the content of their record. If they would prefer another governing body to populate their record, then the other identifier systems should be considered. Just my two cents, I’ll reach out to you directly when I receive feedback.