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Enhancing your academic visibility & profile: YOU in databases: Academic profiling

YOU in databases: Academic profiling

Finding your publications in citation databases - Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar - can be more difficult than expected. Reasons why it can be difficult:

  • you share your name with other researchers - does the algorithm used by the database disambiguate the authors correctly?
  • you have used different names, for example your first name vs. your initials or your married vs. your maiden name
  • you have a name that automatic indexing systems have difficulty processing - compound names, names with special characters and surnames with a prefix, such as 'van' or 'van der', can cause problems
  • in the original publication your name was spelled incorrectly
  • you published in a journal out of your normal 'scope' - this can make it hard for outsiders to decide if the publication is yours.

In the chapter Examples of name problems you can see some real-life examples.

You know what you have published, but for someone else it can be hard to make a list of your publications. If this list is needed to decide whether you're a suitable candidate for a research grant or research position, this can have unintended consequences.

However, there is a solution: claim your publications! Create or check author profiles, enrich them with information about your affiliation and interests, add your publications and keep them up-to-date.

The video What is ORCID? (4.17) explains how the ORCID identifier can ensure that your publications, datasets, and other research outputs are connected with you and how that saves time.

Examples of name problems

You share your name with other researchers

When you search in Scopus for publications of Lars Norden, you find three Scopus Author Profiles. One of these researchers publishes in the field of economics, econometrics and finance, business, management and accounting...


If you would make the effort to check the publications assigned to this profile, you'll find out that this list contains publications of two authors: Lars Nordén and Lars Norden. They work in the same field (at least for the layman), and published in the same journals. So it's not strange the algorithm of Scopus wasn't able to spot the difference. Fortunately, both researchers have an easy-to-find online publication list and a Google Scholar Citation Profile - this helps to find out which publication belongs to which researcher. But if you would just use Scopus 'quick and easy' you might draw the wrong conclusions.

You have used different names, for example your first name vs. your initials or your married vs. your maiden name

Another example from Scopus: a search for Caroline Koedoot returns two Scopus Author Profiles:

and a search for Caroline De Sonneville also returns two Scopus Author Profiles:

You need to know both the maiden and the married name to create a complete publication list of this researcher.

You have a name that's difficult to handle by automatic indexing systems - compound names, names with special characters and surnames with a prefix, such as 'van' or 'van der', can cause problems

We used a (paper) publication list we received from Robert von Friedeburg to find his publications in Web of Science. This was the final list of author names:

The 'von' was sometimes part of the first name, adhered to Friedeburg or ignored at all. Friedeburg was also misspelled twice.

Occasionally, an error is made in the original publication: the author name is spelled incorrectly or something went wrong in the format of the author names.

In this example the author name should have been Arnold B. Bakker instead of Baker:

In this example the name of the second author was cut in two: it should have been 'Maureen P.M.H. Rutten-van Mölken, PhD' instead of 'Maureen P.M.H., PhD' and 'Rutten-van Mölken':

If you perform an author search, you might miss these articles.

You published in a journal out of your normal 'scope' - this can make it hard for outsiders to decide if the publication is yours

In this case we were wondering: is this really a publication of Ale Smidts, a professor of marketing research?

Luckily, we didn't have to check the author information in the article itself: this author has claimed the publication in Web of Science by adding his ResearcherID:

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Overview of academic author profiles

ORCID - Open Researcher and Contributor ID - is an initiative to solve the author/contributor name ambiguity problem in scholarly communications by creating a central registry of unique identifiers for individual researchers and an open and transparent linking mechanism between ORCID and other current author ID schemes. More and more funders and publishers will ask for your ORCID.

You can create your own ORCID ID, which is a 16-digit number (xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx) - check the Handout Creating your ORCID (PDF) for more information.

You can link your ORCID ID to your Scopus Author Identifier, to your ResearcherID and to your publications in Web of Science.

As an example: this is the ORCID of Rutger Engels (rector magnificus of the EUR): https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1944-9126 

Publons allows you to claim your publications in Web of Science. A ResearcherID will be assigned to the Publons profile after you add Web of Science publications to your profile. When you have a ResearcherID you can link this ID to your ORCID. The ResearcherID and ORCID are visible on the article level in Web of Science.

You can create your own Publons Profile - check the Handout Creating your Publons Profile/ReseacherID (PDF) for more information. 

As an example: this is the Publons Profile (with ResearcherID) of Maureen Rutten-van Mölken (ESHPM): https://publons.com/researcher/2520437/maureen-pmh-rutten-van-molken/ 

In Publons you can also add reviews performed for journals and conferences and journal editor activities.

The Scopus Author Profile distinguishes between names by assigning each author in Scopus a unique number (the Scopus Author ID) and grouping together all of the documents written by that author. An algorithm is used that matches author names based on their affiliation, address, subject area, source title, dates of publication citations, and co-authors. If mistakes have been made in this automatic process, you can request author detail corrections (for example merging profiles or excluding publications from your profile).

The Scopus Author Profile is created for you, but you can request author detail corrections (for example merging profiles or excluding publications from your profile). See more information in the Handout Checking & updating your Scopus Author ID & Profile (PDF). You can link your Scopus Author Identifier to your ORCID.

As an example: this is the Scopus Author Identifier of Arnold Bakker (ESSB): https://www.scopus.com/authid/detail.url?authorId=55936456200

You can create your own Google Scholar Citations profile. You have to match your publications to your profile. When you make this profile public, it will appear in the Google Scholar results when people search for your name. In Publish or Perish it's possible to search by Google Scholar Profile.

Check the Handout Creating your Google Scholar Citations Profile (PDF) for more information.

As an example: this is the Google Scholar Citations profile of Henk Volberda (RSM): https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=r_JK4awAAAAJ&hl=en

The Web of Science Author Records are groups of publications in Web of Science that are likely by one person. The records are created with a combination of artificial intelligence and human curated data.

Users of Web of Science can improve a record by adding or removing publications to unclaimed records. Authors can claim their own record, using Publons. The Author Record will then get a Web of Science ResearcherID.

More information can be found in the Author Search Beta - Web of Science - Quick Reference Guide (docx).

As an example: the Web of Science Author Record of Professor Diane Pecher: https://app.webofknowledge.com/author/#/record/722287.

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