There’s a lot of potential for confusion and mistaken identities in scholarly publishing. You might share a name with other, similarly named researchers! Or you might have changed your name at some point during your career. How are others supposed to know if they’ve found the right you?
Luckily, some smart people have been working to make name disambiguation easy.
ORCID was founded in 2012 as a non-profit organization comprised of publishers, funders, and institutions like Nature Publishing Group, Wellcome Trust, and Cornell University. Over 1 million researchers have ORCID IDs so far, and the number continues to grow.