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Research Impact and Citation Analysis


Curating an author identity takes maintenance -- but the process can be simplified

Any bibliometric tool relies on accurately identifying an author and their associated works. However, assigning credit to an author for their work is not a trivial process. Some bibliometric sources scrape authors from documents, others require claiming credit via their platform. Researchers change their names and their institutions, potentially leading to disconnects in their online presence among the different bibliometric sources. No tool will be entirely accurate, but researchers can do their part to ensure that the information entering the tool is as complete as possible. 

One straightforward way of curating your author identity is to create an ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) iD, a persistent digital identifier across all platforms that follows a researcher through their entire career. 

Curating your Author Profile: ORCID iDs

The ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor IDentifier) iD is a persistent digital identifier that is used across a variety of bibliometric databases. When you register for an ORCID iD, it will create a unique sixteen-digit identifier and profile that will follow you through name or organization changes for your entire career.

This tutorial will walkthrough creating an ORCID iD and connecting it to various sources to unify your online research presence. The more unified your research presence is, the easier it is to calculate relevant bibliometrics like the H-index. A more detailed walkthrough can be found on the ORCID blog.


Step 1

Create an ORCID iD at:

Form on the ORCiD website prompting users to fill in their name and email address

Enter your first and last name. 

  • Your first name should be what you are commonly known as. 
  • Last names are not required for ORCID to support global naming conventions. 
  • After creating your ORCID account you can specify your publication name and any previous names. 

Enter a primary email address.  

  • If your email was previously used to create an ORCID iD, then you will be notified that the email already exists in the system. 

Optionally enter secondary email addresses. 

  • Highly encouraged by ORCID moderators. 
  • Add a personal email to the account to maintain access when switching institutions. 

After clicking Next, you will be prompted to create a password.


Step 2

Set your visibility settings. For more information on visibility settings, see ORCiD's blog post on the topic.

  • The choice “Everyone” will allow information to be viewed through the ORCID website and scraped through the ORCID public API.
  • The choice “Trusted Parties” will allow user-specified organizations and individuals to see information.
  • The choice “Only me” restricts all information except your name and ORCID iD.

After registration, you can specify what the privacy settings are for each item in your profile.

Explanatory text about ORCiD visibility settings with the options to set an account to be visible to everyone, trusted organizations, or only me. 87 percent of users choose Everyone, 5 percent choose trusted organizations, and 8 percent choose only me.


Step 3, in some cases

If you have a common name, it is possible other researchers have a similar name. To prevent multiple ORCID iDs being created for one person, you may be asked to verify that you are not already registered.

Multiple entries for names similar to Sofia Garcia

Congratulations, you have created an ORCID iD!


Combine ORCID iDs

It is possible, though rare, to have a duplicate ORCID iD. The goal of the ORCID iD is to have a single persistent digital identifier for a person to use across all platforms. The steps for removing a duplicate record are listed below, but for more information, please see ORCID's blog post on removing duplicates.

To deprecate a duplicate ORCID iD, log into the account you want to keep.

  • Go to “Account Settings”
  • Scroll down to “Account actions”
  • Select “Remove a duplicate record”

When a duplicate record is removed, the associated email address will be merged with the active ORCID iD account and all other information is deleted.

Form showing the removal of a duplicate record, with open fields for entering the duplicate record email / iD and the duplicate record password


Maintain your ORCID profile

There are several fields within an ORCID Profile that a researcher should maintain. Among those are:

When a researcher submits new articles, books, theses, etc., they should include their ORCID iD so the information will be posted to their profile. A researcher should periodically check their profile (once a semester) to ensure that the information is accurate and current. By maintaining an accurate profile, researchers can reduce the overhead for calculating research impact metrics such as the h-index.

Curating your Author Profile: Other Databases

There are several databases used in bibliometric research. To ensure a researcher’s impact is being correctly understood, it is important to curate a researcher’s profile on multiple platforms. Scopus and Web of Science are curated manually, but other sources such as Dimensions and Google Scholar are curated programmatically. Both methods are subject to error, but linking these sources with an ORCID iD can improve their accuracy.

The list below names some of the different databases used in bibliometric research and provides links to more details on how to curate a researcher profile in each.

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