Contributorship Badges for Science – view them now!

We’re excited to announce that the Contributorship Badges for Science prototype (Paper Badger) we’ve been building has been adopted by several of our collaborators.

Contributorship Badges for Science

We’re testing ways to use open badges to assign digital credentials to contributions on academic papers. As the research environment becomes more digital, we want to test how we can use this medium to help bring transparency and credit for individuals in the publication process.

This work is a collaboration with publishers BioMed Central (BMC) and Ubiquity Press (UP); the biomedical research foundation, The Wellcome Trust; the software and technology firm Digital Science; the registry of unique researcher identifiers, ORCID; and the Mozilla Science Lab.

View badges

There are several places where you can view Contributorship Badges for Science!


Two journals, GigaScience (BioMed Central) and Journal of Open Research Software (Ubiquity Press) have added the Paper Badger widget to their papers. The featured image is an example of how badges will appear on a paper.

GigaScience example: GWATCH: a web platform for automated gene association discovery analysis

JORS example: A Web-based modeling tool for the SEMAT Essence theory of software engineering 


All badges are credited to an ORCID, the unique researcher identifier. If the author has a public profile and has publicly listed their papers, you will be able to see their badges when you expand the paper details.

example: (expand the work, “Annotated features of domestic cat – Felis catus genome.”)

Paper Badger

Paper Badger, found at, hosts and issues all the badges. You can browse all badges we currently have.

Want a badge?

Help us test out the badge issuing workflow by claiming your own badge. We’re looking for feedback on the badge workflow so we can improve and make this process as easy as possible.


If you’ve authored a paper in one of the participating journals (GigaScience and Journal of Open Research Software), let us know. Once the journal has confirmed your authorship with us, you will be emailed instructions on how to claim your Contributorship Badges for science.


If you would like to implement Contributorship Badges for Science on your journal, please get in touch! We’d love to help you get started.

How can I help?

There’s still work to be done on this prototype. As we test out this workflow, we’ll learn how we can best support badges for this community.

Where you can jump in:

  • Good first bugs: This is a good place to start if you’re new to the project. These issues are all mentored.
  • Design: We’ll be iterating on our interfaces to make it easier to issue and claim badges
  • Writing code: Ready to write some JavaScript with us? These issues are waiting for you!
  • Discuss: There are still some open ended questions for this prototype. Join in on the discussion.

Thank you!

We couldn’t have done this without help and support from all of you! This prototype was built openly for and with the research community. Special thanks goes to:

Amye Kenall (BMC), Laura Paglione (ORCID), Brian Hole (UP) and the Paper Badger contributors: Austin Davis-Richardson, Ai Deng, Robert Peters, Garth Henson, Anita Perala, Ali Al Dallal, Will Simpson, Alister Cole

Reading list

Putting credit back into the hands of researchers | BMC blogs
Digital badges aim to clear up politics of authorship | Nature News



Featured image: how badges appear on GigaScience GWATCH paper