The function of researcher identifiers is to clearly identify authors, to increase their visibility and to eliminate problems due to name variations, commonly used names or name changes. IDs can join together an author’s publications within a certain database, they can connect profiles featured in various databases and on several platforms.
MTMT also provides a possibility to display unique IDs.
ResearcherID is Web of Science (WoS) database’s own way of identifying researchers. ResearcherID profiles give information on the authors’ publications and citations. Proofreading and editing activities can also be traced. It is even possible to upload documents that are not indexed by WoS. In order to make an author’s full publication activity visible, it is recommended to link it with ORCID.
In August 2022, Publons profiles were automatically integrated with Web of Science. Authors who previously had a Publons profile can now enter the WoS database without any difficulties, with their formerly used email address and password. Authors who have not registered yet, can create their researcher profile in WoS. If an author has more than one profile (one created by the algorithm and one created via registration), these profiles can be merged via Add Publications or Claim. It is then possible to authenticate the profile (Claim). The author’s profile requires constant maintenance, so in order to keep it up-to-date, it is recommended to set up email alerts.
Authors who have publications in any of the journals or books indexed by Scopus, have a Scopus profile.
Scopus’ algorithm automatically generates authors’ profiles based on the metadata featured in documents recorded in the database. Only publications that are available in the database can be assigned to the authors’ profiles. Each profile provides information on the author’s publications and citations.
Google Scholar ID
Google account holders can create their own author’s profile. An advantage of creating a Google Scholar profile is that it collects an author’s publications, and it automatically adds certain bibliometrical data as well. It’s important to know, however, that citations displayed here should be handled with some criticism: bibliographical data tend to be ambiguous, there might be wrong additions, unauthentic details.
ResearchGate is a social platform operated by a profit-oriented firm which provides the community of scholars with a simple and comfortable way of networking. Anyone is entitled to register who holds an email address linked to a scientific institution. Other than indicating the data of publications, it is possible to place a link pointing to the publication itself, or to upload the full text. Uploading the full text is usually not recommended, not only due to uncertainty of copyrights, but also because it might influence so-called alternative metrics. It is better to give a link pointing to a version of the publication or to request the full text from the author. Besides the uploaded publication, the service generates science metric indicators from the data made available, but these are not taken into consideration in the course of the university’s evaluation processes. An outstanding function of the platform is Q&A, which functions as a forum.
The operation of academia.edu is based on the same principles.
ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID)
ORCID is a persistent digital author’s ID granted by an international non-profit organization. It provides clear identification of authors. ORCID makes it possible to handle name variations and publications found in different databases in a unified researcher profile. After free registration, researchers are given a unique and internationally accepted ID of 16 digits. On completing the author’s form an author profile is generated, where any name variations, present and former workplaces, participations in research groups and co-authorship of publications can be collected. Publications which have a DOI identifier and indicate the author’s ORCID identification will be automatically displayed on the profile. Any publications left out can be added manually.
More and more publishers ask for the indication of ORCID on publications, so we recommend that authors create an ORCID profile.
A great advantage of ORCID is that it not only identifies authors within a database, but it overarches several databases. An author’s profile created in another database can be linked with ORCID.