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 available on Using ORCIDs at the Smithsonian (SI staff).ORCID Logo

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.

Last Updated April 1, 2021