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Library Researcher Series: Scholarly Identity

A drop-in workshop series offered by the University Library in Fall and Winter terms.

Session Description: Creating Your Scholarly Identity Online

Is it hard to distinguish your research activities from others with similar names?  Are there multiple versions of your name out there? Come and learn how to create a unique scholarly identity and presence for yourself online. Gathering together your publications under one ID will improve the impact of your research and also ensure you get credit for all of your work.

The Author Ambiguity Problem

Imagine if your name is John Smith (a very common name in North America), readers will likely have a hard time distinguishing your work from the work of the many other authors with the same name! Perhaps your name has changed over time due to marriage or the use of "nicknames."

Author names are not unique identifiers.

Services such as ORCID and ResearcherID have been developed to help solve this author ambiguity problem by assigning authors unique numeric identifiers.


ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized.

The ORCID Registry is available free of charge to individuals, who may obtain an ORCID identifier, manage their record of activities, and search for others in the Registry. 

ORCID is an open, non-profit, community-driven effort unique in its ability to reach across disciplines, research sectors and national boundaries.

(Description adapted from text on ORCID website)

Other Scholarly IDs

Scopus and Web of Science are two very large multidisciplinary indexes (databases) of research articles. It is likely that some, or many, of your publications are indexed in them. Each of these databases has created an author identification tool to assist with the author ambiguity problem.

  1. Scopus Author Identifier assigns each author indexed in Scopus a unique number and groups together all of the documents written by that author. Scopus automatically assigns this ID to all authors of papers indexed in the database. You do not need to create this yourself - however it is good to check your author profile page in Scopus to make sure details are accurate and that it has captured every paper of yours that is in Scopus. Scopus Author ID is ORCID compliant - you may populate your ORCID record with entries from Scopus (see the video tutorial below for instructions).
  2. ResearcherID information integrates with the Web of Science and is also ORCID compliant. You do need to register for a ResearcherID account (Web of Science does not automatically create one for every author as Scopus does). For more information download a PDF factsheet on ResearcherID and view the video tutorial below on how to integrate your ResearcherID data with ORCID.

**Both of these author ID tools also provide considerable research metrics information as well (e.g. citation counts, h-index, etc.)

Scopus Author ID integration with ORCID

Researcher ID integration with ORCID

Scholarly Networking

Session Information

This session took place on Nov 20 in the Murray Library, Collaborative Learning Lab (Room 145) from 12:00 - 1:00 PM.

Subject Repositories

Upload a copy of your manuscripts to appropriate open repositories to increase your readership and impact! Find a subject repository in the OpenDOAR directory.

Make sure you upload the version permitted by your publisher. See your copyright transfer agreement or look in Sherpa Romeo for publishers' requirements.

Tips & Checklist

Tip #1: Choose a variant of your name to publish under and stick to it!

Tip #2: Google yourself regularly - make sure what you want to show up is what shows up!

Tip #3: Register for ORCID and other author IDs to distinguish yourself from other authors.

Tip #4: Post copies of your manuscripts in open repositories to increase your readership and citations!

Tip #5: Update all of your online profiles regularly - especially when you publish something new (use a checklist like the sample one posted below)

Other Library Research Guides