Thing 9: Research profiles


Nowadays, merely undertaking interesting research is not enough to build a successful career as a researcher.

It’s also crucial in the competitive world of academia to be able to demonstrate the impact, influence, and reach of your research.

This week we explore the benefits of setting up Researcher Identifiers to create an accessible online presence for your outputs. You can use them to track and measure the impact of your scholarly research publications.

There are a number of researcher profile systems or researcher identifiers that can link your research outputs and help you create a unique scholarly identity. Some are open-access initiatives, others are linked to subscription citation databases, and increasingly these various systems are becoming interlinked.

If you don’t have research outputs (although conference presentations do count and can be recorded!) we will also cover your online university profile – this is an essential tool for all staff, including professional staff and doctoral candidates.

Benefits of researcher identifiers

Researcher identifiers increase your online visibility and thus the chances of your research being read and being cited. Researcher profiles can be browsed by other researchers, prospective research collaborators, students, journalists, and funding bodies.

Researcher identifiers also uniquely identify you. If another researcher has the same name, if you change your name, if your name appears in different formats, or if you change institutions, your research identifier will remain with you only.

You may be required to list your publishing ‘track record’ or ‘top’ publications as evidence of scholarly impact for academic tenure,  promotion, and funding applications. The gathering of this information can be time-consuming if done manually. Researcher profiles and identifiers assist with the easy compilation of research impact report.

Also, it’s quick to check who has been citing your papers!

Google Scholar citations

Google Scholar Citations profiles assist in providing citation data from a variety of sources. Google Scholar indexes a broader range of publication types than the subscription citation databases; for example, it also includes working papers, government reports, theses, and book chapters.

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), so that they appear in Google Scholar results, which makes it easy for others to follow your work.

For example, have a look at the public Google Scholar Citations profile of Steve Leichtweis from our Centre for the Creative Application of Technology in Education (CreATE). Note the automatic compilation of Steve’s publication metrics such as ‘h-index.’

Other researcher identifiers

Thomson Reuters, 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 biographical profile and an online publication list, which is not restricted to journal articles but can also include patents, conference proceedings, grants, and so on. The ResearcherID can provide citation counts for any of your Web of Science-indexed papers, and an h-index is automatically calculated on these.

You can see an example ResearchID page here: Steve Leichtweis. For more information on ResearcherID, see this fact sheet.

Scopus, another of the large subscription citation indexes, provides citation counts for the articles and authors published within the Scopus journal set. Publications indexed in the Scopus citation database are automatically assigned Scopus Author Identifiers. If your publications are indexed in Scopus you’ll be assigned an Identifier, which you can use to can create your Citation Overview, calculate your ‘h-index’ and view other metrics for publications from 1996 onwards.

If you haven’t already done so, you can register for your Scopus Author identifier.

Both ResearcherID and Scopus Author Identifier can be linked to your Auckland University Research Outputs profile and your ORCID identifier (see “Explore further” below).

Staff profiles (The University of Auckland)

For University of Auckland staff, the Staff Directory is your primary institutional profile, and is a heavily-used resource by the public, journalists, prospective research collaborators, and students as well as funders. It’s therefore worth ensuring that your profile is up-to-date and accurate. This Thing’s activity involves an update to your staff profile (see Try This below).

Research outputs (The University of Auckland)

Research Outputs is a University-only site for staff. Individual researcher profiles currently include: publication and citation data, professional and teaching activities and grant information. Research Outputs aggregates citation information sourced from the University as well as online data sources like the ResearcherID and Scopus identifiers.

Caveats and comparisons

You need to actively monitor your researcher profiles to keep them up-to-date and ensure that all your publications are included. A number of the publication lists are generated automatically and we’ve sometimes seen incorrect publications assigned to authors, which skews the accuracy of automatically generated metrics.

No single tool can provide a comprehensive measurement of research publication impact. Tools providing citation analysis can only track the journals indexed within the individual database. This means that results obtained from the different citation tools are not comparable since their coverage varies. Similarly, these tools are not comprehensive listings of all global research publications: i.e., not all researchers publish in journals indexed by Web of Science or Scopus, and not all publications are indexed in Google Scholar. And, of course, citation counts alone are not an indication of excellent research. They should be used with other qualitative measures.

Researcher ID

Google Scholar Citations

Scopus Author Identifier


Staff Profiles


Thomson Reuters



Open-source, non-profit

University of Auckland

Citation counts












User  privacy controls






Open, public profile






Need to know

Stand-alone webpage. Public or private. All publications can be added. Provides citation data for Web of Science-indexed publications.

Need to ensure no erroneous publications are assigned automatically. Make your profile public, so that it will appear in Scholar results when your name is searched.

Scopus automatically generates an Author Identifier. Only offered to authors with papers published in journals indexed by Scopus. Cannot attach publications from other sources.

Being used by publishers, citation databases, funders.Can link to your other identifiers e.g. Scopus, ResearcherID, or LinkedIn.

Uni of Auckland staff public profile. Linked to publication collection from Research Outputs. Other data entry via multiple channels.

Need help?

University staff and graduate students can consult with either a member from the CreATE Team or the Faculty’s subject librarians for assistance with setting up researcher identifiers.

The Epsom Campus Library’s subject librarians can assist with publication citation analysis and journal impact metrics to support grant and promotion applications.

The library’s Track Your Impact webpage also provides links to tools for measuring and monitoring the impact of research. The page covers citation impact, journal impact, book impact, h-index, altmetrics and other impact measurements.

try-this-iconTry this

We recommend that all researchers set up and edit their research identifiers. However, for this Thing we will only focus on your university profile.

Find yourself in the Faculty’s staff directory and then log into your full staff profile:


Review your profile and update it where possible. You could check your profile image (photo) and either upload a headshot if you have not done so previously or update your existing photo to something more recent. You can also add links to any other media that you want to highlight: your blog or Twitter feed, for example.

Send us an email ( to let us know that you’ve updated your profile.

More detailed information on updating your staff profile can be found at editing my profile. You can also contact the CreATE Team for more assistance.

All uploaded information is moderated by the Faculty’s Communications & Marketing Team and they aim to moderate all profiles within 24 hours.

explore-further-iconExplore further

More information about the H-Index:

“My external identity is blossoming. It is becoming more and more intertwined as computers pick up these identifiers and I build cross-links between them.”
Allow Me to Introduce Myself

ORCID is an open, non-profit, and internationally recognised registry of unique researcher identifiers. Unlike the identifiers above, it is discipline- and corporate-neutral.
What is ORCID and Why is it Important?

*(addition: 19 Aug 2015) The University of Auckland is now recommending that staff should register and create their own unique ORCID identifier. A new website has been developed to assist staff with this effort: ORCID portal

The University of Auckland:
About Research Outputs
Quick start guide
Full user guide


Parts of this Thing were adapted from 23 Research Things @ Melbourne / CC By-NC-SA 3.0

Header image: Todd Martin / Flickr / CC By-NC 2.0
Icons: Everaldo Coelho and YellowIcon / GNU Lesser General Public License

This post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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