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Scholarly Metrics & Altmetrics: Identity Tools

Tools for measuring scholarly impact, journal impact factors, altmetrics, and managing your scholarly identity.


New tools are emerging to help authors manage their online scholarly profiles. The goal of several of these is to provide each researcher with a distinct ID that distinguishes them from others with similar or the same names. Some also help you track other scholarly work than just publications, such as grants and peer review you do.


ORCID was created to help clarify individual authors, especially those with common names and initials, by creating a unique identifier that can then be associated with a specific author. You can also use your ORCID account to curate all your works, grants, jobs, and educational history to create your main scholarly online profile. More and more scholarly journals and other platforms are also starting to integrate with ORCID, meaning you can sign in to them using your ORCID information. ORCID, a non-profit organization, also works with publishers, grant-giving organizations, and sites such as Mendeley and CrossRef to incorporate the ORCID identifier as a field for submitting articles or grant applications. This helps ORCID to automatically update your profile with new works when they are published, saving you the hassle of having to update your record yourself.

To register for your free ORCID iD, go to the ORCID Registration page. It is important to sign up for just ONE ORCID profile. 

It will discover some works automatically; others you may need to add. Go to the Works section of your profile, then choose "Add works." You can then choose either "Add DOI" or "Add manually." The "Add DOI" feature will bring up a search box where you can enter the DOI for your work; ORCID will then use that to fill out the rest of the information for you. The "Add manually" will bring up a screen for you to fill in publication in the fields provided.

Publons and ResearchID

The ResearcherID system was developed by Thomson Reuters as part of their Web of Knowledge database. ResearcherID has since been combined with Publons, which helps track your peer review work, to create another place to build your scholarly profile. 

To register, go to the Publons web page. When you register, you will receive and email with a link to complete your registration. If you have previously established a Web of Science or EndNote Online account, that should be recognized as part of the registration process.

When your account is established, you can link it to your ORCID id (and exchange data with ORCID), view or add publications, or view your citation metrics. NOTE: With citation metrics, only articles from Web of Science with citation data are included in the calculations. So this tool will be most useful for those in scientific disciplines whose publications are well represented in Web of Science.

To add publications:

  1. Sign in to your Publons profile and select "Publications" under the "My records" section
  2. Choose "Import Publications." You can then choose to sync your account with your ORCID profile so that it automatically adds any of your works already in your ORCID profile. You can add works individually by searching their DOI.
  3. You can also choose to import publication information from Web of Science, EndNote, or as an RIS file. 

Google Scholar Profile

Google Scholar profiles have become another popular way to create an online profile for academics. To create one, you need to have a Google account. Once you're signed in to your Google account, go to Google Scholar and select "My profile," following the prompts to create a profile. Google Scholar will prompt you to have articles automatically added to your profile. However, Google Scholar is not always able to differentiate works written by you and someone else with your name or initials, so it's generally best to review them first and then select which ones to add to your profile.

After you've created your profile, you can view all your works and see how many citations they've received under the "Cited by" column. Google Scholar does not always automatically find all your works; to add them manually, select the plus sign icon and then choose "Add article manually." You will then see several types you can input, such as journal, conference, and chapter. You can then fill out the fields to create a record for your work. One problem with that is it does not provide any fields to create a link to your article.

Google Scholar will also provide you the opportunity to verify your account by entering and confirming your university email address. You can also add collaborators if they have a Google Scholar profile, as well as view your H index as tracked by Google Scholar.