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Gerstein Science Information Centre

Getting Published in Health Sciences


Why do I need an author identifier?

Some of the common issues that make it difficult to distinguish your publications from those of others:

  • Over your career, variations of your name will appear on publications (e.g. Ali M. Shaw, Ali Shaw, A. Shaw, A.M. Shaw, etc.)
  • Your name may change
  • There will be other authors with a similar or the same name
  • You will likely work at different institutions and have different affiliations
  • Many journals require authors to have an ORCID when they submit a manuscript


Author identifiers allow you to:

  • ensure your work is discoverable and connected to you throughout your career
  • minimize the time you spend entering repetitive data online, and
  • eliminate name ambiguity, distinguishing you from other researchers and ensuring proper attribution

More information about Author identifiers


PRO TIP: Think of how you want your name to appear in the professional literature.  If you often use a nickname or shortened version of your name, consider if that is how you want your name represented as a professional.  For example, if you commonly use the name Billy, but your name is William, think about using W or B as your first initial.  Be consistent with your name when you publish!