Bibliometrics and collating your identity

As we saw in the workshop, collating your academic identity becomes a priority when you start publishing and disseminating your research at conferences. There’s the danger of your work becoming confused with someone else who shares the same name as you, even in the same institution or discipline. There’s also the problem that your work may appear under variations of your name: full name, initials, and different combinations of them. You may also have changed your name with marital status, or use a different version of your name in different languages. This may mean that it’s hard for potential readers, employers or collaborators to gain an overview of your work.

There are three tools which can help you draw together your academic profile. They also have the added benefits of helping you to see where you fit in the academic landscape, through tracking and mapping citations of your work, and doing the same for others in your field.

Google Scholar Profile and Citations

Google Scholar allows you the option to create a profile of yourself and your publications, and track publications which have cited you. The profile will also appear when others search for your name or work in Google Scholar. You can also use it to see publications by others, if they have signed up, and to follow their work and citations of their work.

  • Go to Google Scholar. Click on My Citations in the top righthand corner.
  • If you have a Google account already, sign in. If not, click on the ‘sign up’ button in the top righthand corner (this gives you access to a number of Google services such as email and cloud storage which you may also find useful).
  • Your profile contains your name, institutional affiliation, research interests, and email address. You can choose to make your profile public, or keep it private, and add your university homepage if you wish. (You can only make your Google Scholar profile public if you use an email address to verify your academic status). Test your choice of research interest keywords by clicking on them and seeing if anyone else describes themselves in the same way.
  • If you already have any, add your published articles using Google scholar (‘add’ in the drop-down menu) and have a look at the citation data. Alternatively, you could search for others in your field and, if they have a profile, look at their publications and citation data. You can choose to have your future publications added automatically, rather than adding them manually yourself, but there may be problems with this, and you’ll have to review and delete periodically.
  • If you need them, there are more information and instructions on the About Google Scholar Citations and the Help page.


ResearcherID is a service introduced by Thomson Reuters, who own Web of Science, to assign each researcher with a unique identifier (a Digital Object Identifier or DOI for authors instead of texts). Similar to Google Scholar profile, you set up a profile of your information, but can then link this unique profile to your own publications, including those not indexed in Web of Science. (Scopus, the citations database owned by Elsevier, have a similar scheme called Author Identifier, although this relies on an algorithm which analyses the publication metadata and offers authors a link to email feedback when they discover an error in their data.)

  • Enter your name and email for a registration invite. Once this arrives, click on the link in the email to register.
  • Fill in the information requested. Once you have done this and created your profile, you will notice that you have been issued your unique identifier. You can then add more information if you wish (there are tabs across the top of the screen to move between sections of your profile). Remember to decide if you want the information to be public or private.
  • Now view your profile, and add your publications for you ‘My Publications’ list, using Web of Science to search. For future publications, you can add them direct from the Web of Science database when searching. You can also see your citation metrics.
  • There is more information on the ResearcherID homepage and ResearcherID FAQ webpage if you need it.

Due to the unique identifier, your information and publications will remain associated with you, whether you change institution or your name. This is important to avoid confusion with other similarly named authors, as you’ll see from Google Scholar Citations but is particularly relevant for Early Career Researchers, whose link with a particular institution is temporary.


A slightly newer service is ORCID, or Online Researcher and Contributor ID. Unlike the Thomson Reuters- owned ResearcherID, ORCID is non-proprietary and not-for-profit. ORCID does however allow you to interlink with your ResearcherID, Scopus and even LinkedIn profiles.

  • Similarly to ResearcherID, you’ll need to register with your name, email and password. You’ll be sent an email with a link which you’ll need to click on to confirm.
  • Again, you’ll be asked to construct a profile, which will include such things as a biography, keywords, and a personal website. Future additions will include affiliations, as in ResearcherID, and details of any grants or patents. You can again decide whether you want this information public or not.
  • ORCID will also allow you to search for and identify any publications by you, linking them with your unique identifier.
  • You can link your ORCID profile with your ResearcherID and Scopus identities also.

For both ResearcherID and ORCID, you can choose to log in with either your unique identifier, or your email address. In both cases, you need not sign up with an academic email if you think an alternative address like gmail would be more stable at this point in your career.

Collating your identity on the open web

There isn’t the same need to collate your output on the open web, but you can distinguish different aspects of your online profile for different audiences by paying attention to privacy settings, using different usernames and avatars for different purposes, and setting up multiple accounts for material aimed at different audiences on those platforms which allow this. You can also use services such as you could create a Gravatar or a Google Profile on Google+ to represent you and save you typing in your profile information each time you access a variety of applications. You could also use or to collate together the various guises in which you appear online.

Things to talk about:

How easy to use and transparent were these tools? Did they each identify your publications accurately? If you don’t yet have any publications, do these platforms have any use for you?

How easy will it be to maintain your own profile over time? These platforms give you the option to take responsibility for your profile yourself, rather than relying on your institution or publishers to do so. Does this work for you, or do you feel it’s not your role? What about multiple authored papers, chapters or books?

Next up: a guest post from Yvonne Nobis, Head of Science Information ServicesCentral Science Library on the new bibliometrics tools for an expert librarian’s perspective!


10 responses to “Bibliometrics and collating your identity

  1. When checking my Google Scholar profile, I found Sigmund Freud there (!! And he made it without a verified email;D

  2. stellartreasurehunter

    Google Scholar was more simple than I anticipated and the statistics it produced were very interesting. ResearcherID and OrcID, which one? any one got some thoughts?

  3. richardmheywood

    I found Google Scholar was particularly good, it’s great that it records all citations whether they are articles in journals or book chapters, and gives you an easy to access record of all your citations (there was one citation of my work which I hadn’t heard of so it’s nice to know people are seeing your work!). I think it’s a great place to keep some continuity through your career as it does not rely on a university hosted site

    • I find the citations map really useful too- it’s a little humbling if you haven’t been cited much (or haven’t written much yet!) but it’s also fantastically useful if you’re doing any kind of literature review too, looking at others’ work. SO wish it had been around when I was doing my PhD!

  4. The idea behind OrcID is that it covers multiple databases/systems/workflows, whereas ResearcherID is purely for references within Web of Science (owned by Thomson Reuters) , so would not map across to your publications in another database such as Scopus (published by Elsevier) .
    However the technology behind OrcID is based on ResearcherID…

  5. Setting up google scholar and OrcID was a great tip.
    I have some doubts about and, specifically, because as working in academia I don’t necessarily want to collate all sites together.
    While uni pages, research gate etc. are mainly directed at scientists, linkedin for me is more geared at non-academics; my blog and twitter are somewhat mixed and FB is entirely private.
    While I do make sure that there is no conflicting information and all is safe for work and “professional”, I currently don’t see the advantages of a specific online business card with all accounts (especially since my google entries are all fairly high).
    Does anyone have an opinion on (dis)advantages etc of this strategy or a compelling reason to use a service like

  6. I don’t include ALL my platforms by any means – just those that are aimed specifically at other academic professionals, which is my academic blog (I have more than one), LinkedIn, Slideshare, Scribd and professional Twitter account (I have two), mostly. I don’t include Facebook. It’s useful to use the address when I’m actively giving people directions to where they can find me online, rather than making them google lots of different platforms…for example, adding the address on physical business cards where I wouldn’t have room to list all the relevant platforms, and also in my email signature, for the same reason. I try to avoid having platforms that are too mixed – I have two blogs and two twitter accounts so I’m not boring half my followers with stuff that’s not aimed at them!

  7. I found all platforms easy to use and they found all my publications. It’s great that one can check that all publications are associated with one’s name.

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