Researcher Profiles

Why Should You Create and Manage Researcher Profiles?

One of the most important parts of measuring your research impact is making sure that your identity and therefore your research attribution is not confused with other researchers with similar names. A common way to disambiguate yourself from others is through using author identifiers. These author identifiers are often connected to an online profile where you can manage which research outputs are associated with you. Having an author profile also keeps you connected to your research activity regardless of instances like name changes or changes to your organizational affiliation.

Some of these researcher profiles are proprietary, while others are hosted by organizations or not-for-profits. Researcher profiles not only improve author identification, they also increase author visibility in the field.

Types of Researcher Profiles


ORCID is an open, nonprofit, community-driven effort to create and maintain an international system of researcher IDs. An ORCID iD (Open Researcher and Contributor iD) is a digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher. Many manuscript or grant submission systems use ORCID to link you with your scholarly activities: published articles or dissertations, patents, artistic performances and data sets. Having an ORCID iD is increasingly requested or mandatory by funders and publishers.

Note: This is the recommended researcher profile at the Smithsonian, as such, extensive information about the creation and management of ORCID iDs is included below.ORCID Logo

Smithsonian Profiles

Smithsonian Profiles is a tool developed by the Smithsonian Libraries to highlight Smithsonian staff and scholarship. It uses data sources from across the Institution, including Smithsonian Research Online, and allows authors to showcase the depth and breadth of their experience. Smithsonian staff may log in using their network credentials to review and edit their profile.

Note: Smithsonian Profiles is integrated with ORCID; for more information about this integration, see the ORCID FAQ below.

Google Scholar Citations

Google Scholar, offers a scholarly profile, called Google Scholar Citations, to showcase your work and also to track metrics such as your h-index via Google Scholar Metrics. While Google Scholar is a very popular research platform, the data in Google Scholar is not always vetted.


ResearcherID is a unique identifier introduced by Thomson Reuters in 2008. As of April 2019, ResearcherID is now integrated with Publons via Clarivate Analytics, who also owns Web of Science. You can create an author profile to both showcase your expertise and to disambiguate yourself from other researchers with similar names. It also allows you to see your publications within the Web of Science, allowing you to more easily track how your work is cited. One account allows you to use Web of Science, Publons, and EndNote Web.

Scopus Author Identifier

Scopus is Elsevier’s product with functionality similar to Web of Science. Their Scopus Author Identifier is automatically generated and attempts to disambiguate authors and their publications. While you cannot create a Scopus Author Identifier, you are able to work with Scopus to correct issues such as multiple profiles or misattribution. Find more information here.

Social Networking Sites

ResearchGate,, and Mendeley are commercial social networking sites for researchers. They provide another way to increase your visibility and ability to connect with other researchers. These platforms also allow you to share your publications; but because they are commercial sites, sharing on them might actually violate publisher policy.

FAQ about ORCIDs at the Smithsonian

How does getting an ORCID benefit me at the Smithsonian?

Once you start using your ORCID iD in your research workflows, your output will benefit from improved discoverability. ORCID is indexed by Google Scholar, and can be linked to the author systems used in key databases like Web of Science and Scopus. By attaching your unique identity to articles, datasets, patents, grants, etc., you ensure that all of your work is found when other scholars search for your research output.

Many major publishers and research funders sit on the ORCID Board of Directors. These organizations and others like them are increasingly incorporating ORCID into their workflows. For example, journal publishers may request your ORCID during the manuscript submission process.

Organizations can do many useful things with your ORCID, such as automatically fill in your personal details so that you do not have to complete their online forms manually. Publishers can also push the details of your new article directly to your ORCID account following publication. As more organizations implement ORCID integrations such as those described above, you will waste less time on repeatedly entering the same data into different research information systems.

Who at the Smithsonian needs an ORCID?

While anyone at the Smithsonian is able to register at ORCID, all scholars who do research and publish the results of their work should make sure to register for an ORCID iD. The primary reason is that CV-like material can be easily replicated into online systems reducing duplication of manual data entry. Examples of this include publisher submission and grant application systems as well as Smithsonian Research Online.

How can I log into ORCID with my Smithsonian network username and password?

The Smithsonian has an Institutional ORCID Membership. This means you can use your Smithsonian Institution network credentials to create and maintain your account.

Go to, and select Institutional Account.

Choose institution

If Smithsonian Institution does not appear, use the search box, then select Continue. Once selected, the next page will prompt you to log in using your Smithsonian network credentials.

Choose Smithsonian

If this is your first time selecting “Institutional account” you will be asked one time to login using your old ORCID username and password. Subsequently, each time you log into ORCID, choose, "Institutional account," and simply log in using your SI credentials.

What will be done with my personal data I put in my ORCID record and what if I don’t want anyone to see it?

Creating an ORCID record only requires your name and an email address although you can add other information (e.g. education, grants, positions held). You always have the final word on sharing any data kept by ORCID. There are privacy settings for all categories of information including biographical, research works, etc. These can be set to private (only you can see), trusted parties (only those you have explicitly identified can see), and public (all can see).

ORCID takes privacy seriously and has been certified as compliant with the European Union data protection mandate which is considerably stronger than U.S. regulations. You can read ORCID's privacy policy here.

How can I make it easy for others to view my ORCID record?

Once you have an ORCID iD, you can customize many parts of it including the information that you make public. For each section of your content, the visibility settings can be adjusted to private (only you can see), trusted parties (only those you have explicitly identified can see), and public (all can see). At the very least, the Libraries suggests that you make your name and affiliation with the Smithsonian public. This allows Libraries’ staff to most effectively manage the Smithsonian Research Online program.

ORCID visibility settings

The public view will look like this:

ORCID visibility settings, public view

Isn't this just another research profile page that I have to update and another login/password to remember?

ORCID is designed to receive updated information from automated systems (such as publisher platforms). Once you have logged in and granted permission to research organizations (e.g. publishers, the Smithsonian) the need to update your ORCID should be minimal if at all. Many organizations and publishers integrate with ORCID including Nature Publishing Group, Elsevier, and the American Physical Society. See a complete list of integrators here. Additionally, Smithsonian staff can log into ORCID using their Smithsonian network credentials.

Who manages my ORCID record?

You have sole control over your ORCID account. Granting permissions to Trusted individuals or Trusted organizations such as publishers, funders and the Smithsonian, permits them to add works and to amend/update only the works they have added.

How can I authorize the Smithsonian Libraries to view and edit my ORCID record, and why would I want to do so?

By adding the Smithsonian Institution as a Trusted organization on you ORCID account you are giving the Smithsonian Libraries permission to read and update your ORCID record. This enables the Libraries to help you keep your record up-to-date. To grant this permission, you must use Smithsonian Profiles (Note, at this time only full-time, permanent staff are eligible for a Smithsonian Profile). Please follow these steps for granting access:

1. Go to Smithsonian Profiles and use your Smithsonian network account to log in.

2. Click on the button to the left: “Register or Connect your ORCID iD.” Register or Connect your ORCID iD

Note: If your ORCID iD is already listed on your SI Profile, first delete it from your Profile, then refresh the page so the above “Register or Connect your ORCID iD” button will appear. Your ORCID iD will appear again once you grant this permission.

Profiles, delete ORCID3. After agreeing to these initial terms, select the “Connect” button and then sign in to your ORCID account. You can do so using either the Personal account or Institutional account sign in. (Note: If you have never linked your ORCID to your SI network account, please follow the directions found here.

4. This will prompt the final screen where you will “Authorize” access to the Smithsonian as a Trusted organization.

Authorize Smithsonian

What if I change institutions?

One of the advantages of ORCID is you keep the same identifier throughout your career, wherever you work. If you leave the Smithsonian, we recommend you remove the Smithsonian as a Trusted organization. To do so, simply go to your account on ORCID,, and navigate to Account Settings. Next, scroll to Trusted organizations, select the delete icon, and confirm Remove as trusted organization.

Remove trusted organization

I have a long list of publications to add to ORCID and an eager intern; can I allow someone else to edit my ORCID profile?

ORCID allows you to grant permission to update your ORCID record to others. Trusted individuals are limited to other ORCID iD holders. You may decide whether to grant access to them, and you may revoke access at any time. To add a trusted individual, go to Account settings, navigate to Trusted individuals, and search for the individual to whom you wish to grant access.

How can I associate publications and other information with my ORCID record, including Smithsonian Research Online?

Many scholarly publishers request co-authors to supply their ORCID at the manuscript submission stage. If you authorize publishers to do so, they will show up as a Trusted organization in your account settings and be able to update your ORCID profile with the publication information from your works. You may also add works manually in a number of ways including a search by individual DOI or letting the ORCID system search common publication indexes and suggest publications for you to add by selecting them from a list of search results.

Note: Most importantly for Smithsonian scholars, if you choose to authorize the Smithsonian Institution as a Trusted organization to update your ORCID profile, your publications may be synchronized between ORCID and the Smithsonian Research Online database.

Who can I contact at the Smithsonian for information about linking my ORCID?

Please direct questions or comments to

I have additional questions about ORCID. Where can I find more information?

Additional information about ORCID accounts can be found via ORCID’s extensive help resources.