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Research Guides

Research Impact

Name Ambiguity

As the global research community continues to grow, it is more likely that researchers in different disciplines have exactly the same name.  This has led to ambiguity about a researcher's identity and thus problems with tracking the researcher's publications and contribution to scholarship.

Part of distinguishing your research is ensuring that it is not confused with the work of another researcher. There are a number of tools available to you to help you disambiguate your name and create a common link between all of your research.


To address this issue, different stakeholders in the scholarly communication ecosystem have come together to establish an international, interdiscipinary, and not-for-profit organization: Open Researcher & Contributor ID (ORCID).  

This independent organization aims to create and oversee an open registry of unique identifiers for researchers that will help: 

  • researchers to track their publications and other scholarly contributions 
  • institutions to compile and update profiles of their faculty/researchers
  • research funding agencies to manage grant applications and grantee databases 
  • publishers to maintain author records and sort manuscript submissions 
  • repository administrators to handle deposits of research publications and datasets 

ORCID achieves these goals by collaborating with providers of identifiers for intellectual outputs such as CrossRef and DataCite.

ORCID has been issuing unique author identifiers since late 2012.  Researchers can visit its site to register for their identifiers (ORCID IDs) free of charge.  The identifier consists of 16 digits like this: 1234-5678-9012-3456.  It is accompanied by a profile that can be edited and updated by the identifier holder.  The profile can be accessed online with a persistent URL that incorporates the identifier (e.g.,  ORCID IDs are issued out of sequence and do not provide any semantic information such as the country of origin of their holders.  

An ORCID ID can be linked to other author identifier services, e.g., ResearcherID, Scopus Author ID, RePEC, and INSPIRE.  


Other resources

Google Scholar Citations

Google Scholar Citations can help you gather a cohesive list of your publications listed on Google Scholar. Setting up a profile is easy, and will give you the opportunity to manually link your profile to any publication authored by someone with your name. Your profile will be searchable within Google Scholar, and you will be able to then use Google Scholar Citations to calculate different impact metrics.


ResearcherID is a unique identifier that can be linked to a publication list. ResearcherID integrates with Web of Science to provide impact metrics, and is ORCID compliant.

International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI)

ISNI is the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certified global standard number for identifying the millions of contributors to creative works and those active in their distribution, including researchers, inventors, writers, artists, visual creators, performers, producers, publishers, aggregators, and more. You may already have an ISNI, as ISNI harvests data from a large number of sources and creates records.