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Research Metrics

This guide will help you understand research metrics about authors, articles/books, and journals.

What is a Researcher Identifier?

Comic from discussing the pros and cons of researcher IDs.

"Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham

What are Researcher Identifiers (ID)?

Also called scholar IDs, you might have heard of these before. Because most publishing is online and always growing, there is an ever-increasing number of researchers that share similar names, change their names over time, or have names that don't conform to western conventions (first name, middle name, last name). Another problem is that publications in online profile systems, such as Google Scholar, can get attributed to the wrong person, whether that’s you or someone else. Using a researcher ID when publishing helps to reduce (if not eliminate) these issues significantly. These identifiers are persistent and unique identification numbers used to attribute publications, presentations, and more with a single author regardless of the format of that author's name in the publication (e.g., J. Smith; John Smith; John M. Smith).

How do I pick/create a Researcher ID?

There are a few different identifiers that you can use to help distinguish your publications from someone with a name similar to yours. Many of them will also follow you throughout your career, even if you change jobs, graduate, or move. The most common identifiers are included below, along with some brief information. Some identifiers even integrate or work with one another to help reduce the number of profiles that you as a researcher have to manage.

The information on this page is used with permission and kindly provided by Christina Miskey and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas University Libraries (


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What is ORCID?

ORCID logo 64x64

The Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) registry provides unique, persistent, non-proprietary identifiers for researchers, creators, and contributors of all types. Your ORCID iD moves with you throughout your career, improving attribution and visibility of your grants, research, scholarship, and creative and entrepreneurial activities. The use of ORCID iDs is fast becoming standard in academia, and many publishers and funders now require them. They are free to obtain, and once up and running, make it easy to connect with CrossRefImpactStoryScopusPublons, and others. Have an NCBI account? Link your ORCID profile and use the information to populate your SciENcv profile

Getting Started with ORCID

For an extensive tutorial in obtaining and using an ORCID iD, including more reasons why it's essential to have one, check out the video below.

What is ResearcherID?

ResearcherID logo

ResearcherID is a unique identifier, similar to ORCID, created by Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters) for use within the Web of Science databases and Publons. This identifier is used to disambiguate author names and provide persistent identification for authors, creators, and contributors. Researchers can use this to claim their scholarly works in the Web of Science databases and Publons, track their research impact by times cited and the H-index, and identify potential collaborators.

Getting Started with ResearcherID

Creating a ResearcherID account is free and relatively simple. First, you need to go to the registration page and fill out the registration form. Next, you can use the information that is emailed to you, along with the FAQ page, to complete your account and add your scholarly works from Web of Science. If you have an existing Publons account, you can log in to your existing account to connect it to your ResearcherID.

ResearcherID and ORCID

Once you have successfully created a ResearcherID account, you can connect your account to ORCID through Publons. Log in to your Publons account and follow the instructions to export your ResearcherID record to your ORCID account.


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What is Scopus ID?

Scopus logo

The Scopus Author Identifier is a unique proprietary identifier, similar to ResearcherID, created by Scopus and Elsevier. This identifier creates a unique profile for an author and then compiles all of the varieties of names used by that author into one place (e.g. John Smith; J. Smith; J. M. Smith). An author profile is created automatically by Scopus using an algorithm, however, authors can claim their profiles and provide feedback on incorrect names or works associated with their profiles.

Getting Started with Scopus

Scopus automatically creates a profile for you if it has your publications within its database. So to begin reviewing your profile, visit Scopus and create an account. Next, follow the steps provided in the Author Identifier FAQ page to update and remove errors from your author profile.

Scopus Author ID and ORCID

Authors can also connect their Scopus Author ID profiles with their ORCID account. Connecting with ORCID helps researchers who want to consolidate their identifiers, so there is less work updating profiles and accounts. Once you have integrated Scopus and ORCID, Scopus will automatically begin exporting data about new publications into your ORCID account.


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arXive ID

arXiv ID

ArXiv is an open access preprint server hosted by Cornell University with scholarly papers in topics including physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics. The arXiv ID is used to track authors as they submit research to this server for peer feedback and sharing. Authors with profiles can also use their ORCID ID (and are encouraged to do so) to log in. 

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