Have you searched for yourself lately? Are you satisfied that the search result portrays you and your research the way you want to be seen?
Your scholarly identity can be thought of as what you want people—fellow researchers, students, or potential employers—to find when they look you up online. This may include your:
- Presentations and publications
- Fellowships and grants
- Courses taught
- Research interests
It may help to think of it as your online curriculum vitae or resume. It’s up to you whether or not you manage this identity, but regardless of whether you manage it, it exists.
Managing your scholarly identity
What are the results when you search your own name? How long does it take to find your work? Does a personal social media account appear first? Think of managing your scholarly identity as taking control of your digital narrative. Start reviewing your identity early and often as possible.
Managing and taking control of your scholarly identity can:
- Increase the discoverability of your work and set yourself apart
- Enable research relationships across institutions
- Reduce false or misleading information in search results
Take your first steps towards managing your scholarly identity by
- Keeping a list of your publications, datasets, and grey literature
- Using online services such as Experts@Minnesota, ORCiD, Google Scholar, and LinkedIn
Consider what you want kept private and use privacy settings
- Protect your profile and feeds
- Hide profiles from search engines
- Lock comment sections of blogs
Every scholar should have an ORCiD ID. An ORCiD ID is
- Unique to you (unlike your name)
- Persistent throughout your career (unlike your institutional affiliations)
- Easy to get (in under a minute at orcid.org)
Once you have created an ORCiD ID, write down the number and use it consistently! Many publishers and funders will ask for it, but add the number along with your name even if you aren't asked. Doing so will make it easier for any individual or service to pull together all of your research in one place, and you won't have to worry about losing a part of your scholarly identity if you change your name or move to a different institution. For more information about ORCiD, please visit our ORCiD web page.
If you are a faculty member, post-doctoral associate, or researcher with an appointment at the Twin Cities or Duluth campuses, you probably have an Experts@Minnesota profile. Experts@Minnesota
- informs the public about the research work of the University of Minnesota
- provides a tool for researchers to find and learn about each other
Publication and other research output information stored in Experts@Minnesota can be
- used for internal reporting, analysis, and decision making
- repurposed for departmental, center, and faculty websites
Explore options for enhancing your Experts@Minnesota profile, and reach out to ExpertsMNHelp@umn.edu for assistance.
When you create an ORCiD ID, you automatically get an ORCiD profile page. Your page is more useful as a way for you to ensure everything that should be associated with you is associated with you. Add other names you have used when publishing, organizational affiliations, and identifiers from other databases. You can also grant permissions to databases such as Experts@Minnesota, Web of Science, or Scopus to automatically update ORCID when they encounter new publications in your record.
Claim your Google Scholar profile to pull together all your existing publications and be notified when Google Scholar encounters new publications that may be yours. Your profile will be included in Google Scholar searches for your name, and your page shows links to co-authors as well as citation information.
Like Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic is primarily a place to search for publications. You can create an account and claim your publications, add a profile picture, and include affiliations and research interests. Your page shows number of papers and number of citations to them, and links to co-authors, their affiliations, journals and conferences in which you've published, and research topics covered by your work.
ResearchGate is a for-profit social networking site that is used most often by researchers in the sciences. You can set up an account for free and use it to follow particular researchers or research interests. You can add a list of your publications, and ResearchGate will strongly encourage you to add PDFs as well. You should do so only if you are sure you have retained the right to do so in your agreement with the publisher. If you're interested in sharing the full text of your publications without using a for-profit service, University Libraries suggests you learn more about the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy.
Academia.edu is a for-profit social networking site that has users in a somewhat wider range of disciplines than ResearchGate. Academia.edu is free for basic features but charges for additional functions. As with ResearchGate, you can follow other researchers and add your own publications (with or without PDF). If you don't include a PDF, potential readers can click a button to "request." This will generate an email to you, the author. You should only add a PDF if you are sure you have retained the right to do so in your agreement with the publisher. If you're interested in sharing the full text of your publications without using a for-profit service, University Libraries suggests you learn more about the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy.
Have you published a book? Did you know that you can claim your author profile on Amazon.com? While not a scholarly platform, Amazon is used by readers everywhere to buy and review books. You can claim your works and add a biography, photo, and other links.