Bonus Thing 6 2014: Researcher identifiers and your publication profile

Nowadays, merely undertaking interesting research is not enough to build a successful career as a researcher; it’s also crucial in the competitive world of academia to be able to demonstrate the impact, influence and reach of your research. This week our bonus thing explores the benefits of setting up Researcher Identifiers to create an accessible online presence for your research outputs. They can also help you to track and measure the impact of your scholarly research publications.

If you are an academic, you are likely to have an online university profile. However, there are a number of other researcher profile systems or researcher identifiers that can link your publications and create a unique scholarly identity. Some are open-access initiatives, others are linked to subscription citation databases, and increasingly the various systems are becoming interlinked.

Benefits of Researcher Identifiers
We believe it’s well worth investing time to set up your researcher identifiers and online publication profile. They increase your online visibility and thus the chances of your research being read and being cited. Researcher profiles can be browsed by other researchers, prospective research collaborators, students, journalists and funding bodies.

Researcher identifiers also distinguish you from other researchers via author disambiguation. When researchers have similar or identical names it can be difficult for others to easily identify or attribute your work (see Melissa Terras’s blog post on the confusion of having someone else’s papers accidentally attributed to her). Some researchers change names during their careers and author names may be displayed in varying formats in different publications and indexes. Researcher identifiers can be used to group all name variations under which you may have published and your affiliations with different institutions.

This isn’t just for the REF; you may be required to list your publishing ‘track record’ or ‘top 10’ publications as evidence of scholarly impact for academic tenure,  promotion and funding applications. The gathering of this information can be time-consuming if done manually. Researcher profiles and identifiers assist with the easy compilation of research impact report. Also, it’s quick to check who has been citing your papers!

Open Researcher & Contributor ID (ORCID)
ORCID is an open, non-profit, and internationally recognised registry of unique researcher identifiers. It provides a method for linking your research activities and outputs using a 16-digit number to identify individual researchers in much the same way that ISBNs and DOIs identify individual books and articles. ORCID is discipline- and corporate-neutral and also interlinks other identifier systems.

ORCID identifiers are increasingly being used by journal publishers, funding bodies and university repositories, to identify individual researchers. A number of journal submission systems now ask for ORCID identifiers.

ORCID itself does not track citations, but it can be used with citation indexes.

Set up an ORCID identifier if you don’t already have one. It’s a short and easy process and will save you time later. If you have more than one university email address, it is important that you make sure that your ORCID account has all your email addresses associated with it to avoid duplicate ORCIDs being created.

ResearcherID (Thomson Reuters)
Thomson Reuters, producer of Web of Science, provides the free ResearcherID service which can be used even if your publications are not indexed in Web of Science.

With a ResearcherID you can build a biographical profile and an online publication list, which is not restricted to journal articles but can also include patents, conference proceedings, grants and so on. The ResearcherID can provide citation counts for any of your Web of Science-indexed papers, and an ‘h-index’ is automatically calculated on these. ResearcherID profiles can be public or private and there is an option to assign an ORCID at the same time.

When used within the Web of Science database, ResearcherID  simplifies the process of compiling Author Citation Reports, h-indexes and other publication metrics, and provides greater accuracy. This can be handy when you need to gather research impact metrics quickly for that looming application deadline.

For more information on ResearcherID, see the website and this factsheet.

Scopus Author Identifier (Elsevier)
Scopus, another of the large subscription citation indexes, provides citation counts for the articles and authors published within the Scopus journal set.

Publications indexed in the Scopus citation database are automatically assigned Scopus Author Identifiers. If your publications are indexed in Scopus you’ll be assigned an Identifier, which you can use to can create your Citation Overview, calculate your ‘h-index’ and view other metrics for publications from 1996 onwards. To view author level metrics use the Author Search, and from the results click on an author’s name. Your Scopus Author ID can also be linked to your ORCID identifier.

It’s a good idea to check the accuracy of your Scopus Author profile on a regular basis and ensure that you only have a single Identifier.

Learn more about Scopus Author Identifiers here.

Google Scholar Citations
Google Scholar Citations profiles assist in providing citation data from a variety of sources. Google Scholar indexes a broader range of publication types than the subscription citation databases; for example, it also includes working papers, government reports, theses, and book chapters. A Google Scholar Citations profile will help you to keep track of who is citing your publications, graph citations over time and calculate different citation metrics. We recommend that Google Scholar Citations profiles are made public (the default is private), so that they appear in Google Scholar results, which makes it easy for others to follow your work. As with other online identifiers, authors should check their Google Scholar Citations profile regularly to ensure correct assignment of publications.

For a great example, have a look at the Google Scholar Citations profile of Dr Dominique Hes from the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Architecture Building & Planning. Note the automatic compilation of Dominique’s publication metrics. We also like Dominque’s use of keywords for her areas of interest, which really help to increase findability.


  • You need to actively monitor your researcher profiles to keep them up-to-date and ensure that all your publications are included. A number of the publication lists are generated automatically and we’ve sometimes seen incorrect publications assigned to authors, which skews the accuracy of automatically generated metrics.
  • Citation counts alone are not an indication of excellent research. They should be used with other qualitative measures.
  • No single tool can provide a comprehensive measurement of research publication impact. Tools providing citation analysis can only track the journals indexed within the individual database. This means that results obtained from the different citation tools are not comparable since their coverage varies. Similarly, these tools are not comprehensive listings of all global research publications: i.e., not all researchers publish in journals indexed by Web of Science or Scopus, and not all publications are indexed in Google Scholar.

 Further Reading

Bonus Thing 5 2014: Crowdsourcing

The wisdom of the crowd? Photo by Pedros Szekely

The wisdom of the crowd? Photo by Pedros Szekely

Researchers in a variety of disciplines have begun to experiment with crowdsourcing and what it can accomplish. Take the growing recognition of ‘citizen science’ in research – calling on the public to volunteer their involvement. At one end of the scale, this may mean massive data projects like those Zooniverse hosts, which have attracted over 1.1 million registered users thus far. The tasks that these types of projects involve are ones that require low skill but that cannot be done effectively by computers. Current Zooniverse projects range from identifying animals to transcribing and tagging written content. Crowdsourcing isn’t limited to the sciences; the recent Transcribe Bentham project at UCL asked members of the public to transcribe Bentham’s letters and proved wildly successful.

Although there are valid criticisms of crowdsourcing, proponents of crowdsourcing say that it brings together researchers from across the disciplines to engage in unique ways with the public. It certainly offers the opportunity to complete tasks that would otherwise be unthinkable – or at least unfundable. If you have a massive data project of a certain type, it’s possible that crowdsourcing offers you a legitimate option. But it isn’t always about big data. The work that the Run CoCo Project in Oxford does, for example, is about inviting members of a community to contribute unique knowledge and expertise to a project – for example, by adding historical information, identifying people or locations in a photo, or even asking communities to upload their own content. You might also take a look at the Jisc Developing Community Content projects; other types of projects ask participants to add contextual information, like HistoryPin, or tag images, like the Library of Congress Flickr Commons project.

Crowdsourcing projects can be far less ‘official’ than those you may see advertised in the news. There have been successful small-scale projects run via Flickr or blogs, asking members of research communities to help with identifications or similar.

It’s important to remember that while a crowdsourcing may involve the public or those interested in your discipline, it doesn’t usually mean less work. You need to engage those who may be interested – and keep them engaged. Studies have shown that in many projects, a small minority do the majority of the work. You also may need to monitor or quality control output.

This thing certainly doesn’t ask you to undertake a crowdsourcing project, but it does ask you to consider whether crowdsourcing has or might have any role in your work. Take a look at some of the types of projects on Zooniverse and run via Run CoCo. Run CoCo offers a variety of resources for those interested in a project; take a look at their guides and reports. Jisc also offers a crowdsourcing infokit which is worth a look.

You may also be interested in crowdsourcing as a learning activity. If you’re involved in teaching, think about the role that participation in these projects might play in the classroom.

Blog post
Do you think crowdsourcing has any role in the work that you do? What about your discipline at large? Have you ever been involved in a crowdsourcing project? Tag your post #bonusthing5.

Further reading

Bonus Thing 4 2014: Using augmented reality in the classroom

Augmented reality in the classroom? It’s not so far fetched! There are numerous tools that make it easy via an iPad or smartphone. It’s true that AR is still in its infancy, but there are some fun ways to try it out. Since this post’s focus is on trying out tools, we’ll keep it short and sweet with the idea that you actually give some of these things a try.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality combines a user’s actual world view with one that includes additional computer-generated information or functionality. It generally uses one of two methodologies:

  • Marker-based AR uses software to recognize a specific pattern such as a barcode or image.
  • Location-based AR uses location or GPS to provide information that is appropriate to a specific location.

This Ted Global talk by Matt Mills of Aurasma gives a great intro to the potential that AR offers.

Task: Exploring tools

There are huge varieties in the tools available, and the skills and investment needed range quite widely as well. We suggest you pick a few from the tools below to explore and write about in your blog post (be sure to tag your post ‘Bonus Thing 4’).

  • Aurasma: Aurasma offers huge potential in the classroom. It allows anyone to  ‘layer’ information over a real-world view – whether that’s a landscape or a painting, some text or an object.  Access to the basic tools is free and allows anyone to upload a ‘trigger’ image and create ‘overlays’ that you get when you scan the trigger image. Anyone can then use the free Aurasma app to scan the trigger.
  • Layar: Similar in many ways to Aurasma. Also offers a free basic model (though it may have ads).
  • Google Glass: The ultimate AR experience? Unfortunately not available to the general population, but worth a try if you can get your hands on one.
  • ZooAR: Allows you to view a selection of animals and insects in 3D.
  • The tools produced by the SCARLET project: The SCARLET project began by looking at ways to use special collections material and has expanded its remit into a variety of education-focused areas.
  • Google Sky Map (Android only): An Android implementation of Google Sky that allows you to use your smart phone or tablet, pointed at the sky, to get location-based information about what you see above you.
  • Google Ingress (Android only): Perhaps less of an educational tool, but an important step in Google’s foray into AR. Ingress is an augmented reality massive multiplayer online game that uses location-based ‘portals’ at places of public art, landmarks, etc. to shape a story with a strong sci-fi influence.

There are certainly other tools and apps available; these are just a sample of those we’ve seen used well. Let us know if you have used any others!

Further reading:

Bonus Thing 3 2014: Digital curation

Using technology the potential for individuals to draw together their own collections of online resources is enormous. In this Thing we are looking at online curation, using tools like Pinterest and Tumblr. We’ve already discussed Storify and tools for sharing text-based content, but let’s explore some more visual tools. We’d like to look at two aspects: (1) the way that researchers and teachers of the public can use various websites and tools to curate collections around their chosen topics, and (2) how academic professionals can use these tools to curate a collection of links and resources relevant to their work and professional development.


Pinterest allows users to create virtual pinboards of images and videos according to their interests.

  • Researchers and academic institutions are using Pinterest for many purposes. Here’s just a few examples:
  • Researchers can also use Pinterest to collect resources relevant to their work. See the Pinterest boards developed to support 23 Mobile Things as an example, or the way the University of Virginia uses it to showcase staff output.
  • Many instructors are using Pinterest to create reading lists or boards of relevant content. The LSE blog covers a ‘how to’ (though be aware of copyright issues), while the Bodleian Education Library provides a good example on their ‘New Teaching Resources’ board.

Tumblr, a microblogging platform, allows users to post their own content or “reblog” content posted by other users. Posts can also be tagged with hashtags (e.g. #libraries).

Explore further

Blog post

Have you searched for material in your research or study area on Pinterest and Tumblr? Do you think that you could use these tools to share information or collate it all in one place for personal use?

(Adapted from 23 Mobile Things).

Bonus Thing 2 2014: Twitter Chat

eldh on Flickr

eldh on Flickr

In Thing 6, we talked about using Twitter for live twitter chats, such as the #phdchat that happens each week. We’re pleased to announce that we’ll be running a 23 Things chat on Thursday, 6 November. We’ll be talking about social media use in research and the higher education setting.

It’s super easy to participate; all you have to do is make sure you’re on Twitter between 3 and 4pm and keeping an eye on tweets with the hashtag #oxengage (hint: click on that link for a saved #23things search). We’ll start off the conversation with some questions for you to think about, and we’re hoping to get some of our Engage presenters to take part as well so that you can ask them about their experiences using social media for research. You can respond to questions with thoughts from your own experiences or ask questions of other participants.

If you’d like to read more about tweet chats and how to get the most out of them (don’t be afraid to ask questions! Please do introduce yourself!), take a look at this Tweet Chats 101 article.

Although the chat is 23 Things-based, you don’t have to be an actual 23 Things participant to take part. We hope to ‘see’ you on the 6th!

Bonus Thing 1 2014: Building a personal website


Our series of ‘bonus things’ for 2014 provides some extra credit type things that you can do to augment your online presence and the skills in your portfolio. The first bonus thing covers building a personal website.

Why would you need or consider a personal website? You may have a number of good reasons for doing so. A personal website can give access to your various contact details, profiles and provide a good hub for advertising yourself and what you do. It’s great if you have multiple jobs or online ‘personalities’. A writer AND a musician? No worries! Let people know in one place. A personal website is also dynamic; you can update it and change it easily to showcase recent work or alter details.

You don’t need to be able to code in order to create a personal hub page; there are lots of free or low cost and easy ways to do it.

Super easy

If what you want is simply a landing page that you can use to pull together all your information with style, you won’t need more than an hour or so. There are a number of services that do this quite easily.

  • Add a hub page to your WordPress blog, and make it your landing page. Bonus: get a custom domain name for your blog (for a fee).
  • Gives you a landing page with a large and lovely photo and allows you to list your various profiles.
  • Very similar to; offers paid-for premium content such as a custom domain name, video or audio content and multiple pages.
  • Strikingly: Advertises itself as great for mobile, and offers analytics.
  • Other options:, Pixelhub

No coding required, but will require more time, skills and possibly money

If you want to invest a bit more time into a more powerful site, there are a number of options. Just a few:

  •  Squarespace: Not free, but offers an easy-to-use drag and drop interface. For those wanting more functionality.
  • Wix and Weebly: Easy to use, and allow lots of customisation. Both offer free plans but may require a paid plan to avoid ads or get a custom domain name.
  • We’ve recommended’s free blogging tools for your 23 Things blog, but offers more powerful solutions. WordPress now accounts for about 60% of the world’s CMS-based websites! You’ll need to pay for hosting and it can take a bit more work to get things set up, but things like one-click installation help make these processes simple. There’s lots of help online.

Straightforward, but will require some html and/or coding skills

If you have some basic html and/or coding skills, your options grow. Some simple ones: