Thing 21: Researcher IDs

In the competitive world of academia, it is important to be able to demonstrate the impact, influence and reach of your research. Thing 21 explores a range of tools that can help you do this.  

Getting Started

Researcher Identifiers enable you to create an online presence for your scholarly research outputs. They can also help you to track and measure the impact of your publications. Researcher Identifiers can

  • increase your online visibility to other researchers, prospective research collaborators, students, journalists, and funding bodies;
  • distinguish you from other researchers via author disambiguation. Eg. similar names, name changes, different formatting in publications, change of affiliations;
  • assist with the easy compilation of citation counts that may support grant and promotion applications.  

Open Researcher & Contributor ID (ORCID)

ORCID is an open, non-profit, and internationally recognised registry of unique researcher identifiers. ORCID identifiers are increasingly being used and/or required by universities, funding bodies, journal publishers, and university repositories to identify individual researchers. ORCID itself does not track citations, but it can be used with citation indexes. 

To find out more about ORCID, watch the short video below and have a look at this blog post which discusses “Six ways to make your ORCID iD work for you!”.

What is ORCID? from ORCID on Vimeo.

ResearcherID (Clarivate)

Clarivate, producer of Web of Science, provides the free ResearcherID service which can be used even if your publications are not indexed in Web of Science. With a ResearcherID you can build a profile and an online publication list which is not restricted to journal articles. The ResearcherID can provide citation counts for any of your Web of Science-indexed papers, and an ‘h-index’ is automatically calculated on these. ResearcherID profiles can be public or private and there is an option to assign an ORCID at the same time. 

Take a look at the ResearcherID of Mitchell Black. Mitchell is a PhD candidate based in Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne and has kindly agreed to share his ResearcherID with 23 Research Things.  Mitchell can get publication metrics for the papers indexed in Web of Science via the Citation Metrics link. Tip! Mitchell lists his ResearcherID in his email signature as part of his professional calling-card. 

For more information on ResearcherID, see the website and this factsheet. 

Scopus Author Identifier (Elsevier)

Scopus provides citation counts for the articles and authors published within the Scopus journal set. Publications indexed in Scopus are automatically assigned Scopus Author Identifiers. You can create a Citation Overview to calculate your ‘h-index’ and view other metrics for publications from 1996 onwards.  Your Scopus Author ID can also be linked to your ORCID identifier. 

It’s a good idea to check the accuracy of your Scopus Author profile on a regular basis and ensure that multiple profiles haven’t been created. Sometimes, these multiple profiles will occur if your name is expressed differently in different articles, or if you have moved institutions. 

Learn more about Scopus Author Identifiers here.

Google Scholar Citations

Google Scholar indexes a broader range of publication types than the subscription citation databases. A Google Scholar Citations profile will help you to keep track of who is citing your publications, graph citations over time, and calculate different citation metrics.  

We recommend that Google Scholar Citations profiles are made public (the default is private), which makes it easy for others to follow your work. Authors should check their profile regularly to ensure correct assignment of publications. 

For a great example, have a look at the profile of Dr Dominique Hes from the University’s Faculty of Architecture Building & Planning. Note the automatic compilation of Dominique’s publication metrics. We also like Dominque’s use of keywords for her areas of interest, which really help to increase findability. 


You need to actively monitor your researcher profiles to keep them up-to-date and ensure that all your publications are included. Incorrect publications can skew the accuracy of automatically generated metrics. 

  • Citation counts alone are not an indication of excellent research. They should be used with other qualitative measures. 
  • No single tool can provide a comprehensive measurement of research publication impact.  
Researcher ID
Google Scholar
Scopus Author Identifier ORCID



Google  Elsevier 

Open-source, non-profit 

Citation Counts 










User privacy controls 





Open, Public Profile 





Try This

  1. Set up an ORCID identifier if you don’t already have one. It’s a short and easy process  If you have more than one university email address, make sure that your ORCID account has all your email addresses associated with it to avoid duplicate ORCIDs being created. 
  2. Check your Scopus Author Identifier. If you have more than one profile, check that the publications are all yours – if there are duplicate profiles click on “Request to Merge Profiles”. Contact your liaison librarian if you have questions or need assistance.

Need help with any of the above?

  • University of Melbourne staff and graduate students can consult with our Liaison librarians for assistance with setting up researcher identifiers.  
  • The University Research impact service for staff  can assist with publication citation analysis and journal impact metrics to support grant and promotion applications. 
  • The Library’s Research Impact Guide provides links to tools for measuring and monitoring the impact of research. The guide covers citation impact, journal impact, book impact, h-index, altmetrics and other impact measurements. 

Learn More

This post was written by Lindy Cochrane (Liaison Librarian (Research), Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences) and Sarah Charing (Liaison Librarian (Research), Architecture, Building and Planning).

Image: “Magnifying glass” by bluebudgie via Pixabay (CC0)

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