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Research Impact and Visibility: Day 1: Google Scholar Profile & ORCID

A guide on tools to promote your research and increase citations

ORCID

There’s a lot of potential for confusion and mistaken identities in scholarly publishing. You might share a name with other, similarly named researchers! Or you might have changed your name at some point during your career. How are others supposed to know if they’ve found the right you?

Luckily, some smart people have been working to make name disambiguation easy.

ORCID IDs are permanent identifiers for researchers. They protect your unique scholarly identity and help you keep your publication record up-to-date with very little effort.

ORCID was founded in 2012 as a non-profit organization comprised of publishers, funders, and institutions like Nature Publishing Group, Wellcome Trust, and Cornell University. Over 1 million researchers have ORCID IDs so far, and the number continues to grow.

Setting up your ORCID profile will help you claim your correct, complete publication record. In this challenge, you’re going to claim your ORCID ID so you can automate the collection of your work and related metrics in a future challenge.

Here’s how to get started with ORCID.

Step 1. Claim your ORCID in under 30 seconds

  1. First things first: logon to ORCID.org/register and sign up for an ORCID account.
  2. At this step in the process, you’ll add very basic information like your name and email address, choose a default level of privacy for your profile, accept ORCID’s terms of use, and click “Register”.
  3. If your name is already in the ORCID system, you’ll then be prompted to claim an existing profile or make a new one.

Congrats! You now have an ORCID identifier. And now you’re on your way to having an ORCID profile, too.

Step 2. Fill out your ORCID profile

Next, you’ll fill out your ORCID profile so that others can verify who you are, and also learn more about you.

First, add links to your Google Scholar, your personal website, and any other websites where you’ve got a scholarly profile.

  1. On the left-hand menu on your main profile page, click the pencil “Edit” icon next to “Websites.”
  2. In the fields that appear, add links to your Google Scholar and other professional profiles you’ve created. Also add a link to your website or faculty page. Describe each link adequately enough so your profile’s viewers know if they’re going to click a Google Scholar link vs. something else.
  3. Click “Save changes” when you’re done.

Import your publications by connecting other scholarly identifiers

Any type of scholarly output you create, ORCID can handle.

Are you a traditional scientist, who writes only papers and the occasional book chapter? ORCID can track ‘em. Are you instead a cutting-edge computational biologist who releases datasets and figures for your thesis, as they are created? ORCID can track that, too. Not a scientist at all, but an art professor? You can import your works using ORCID, as well, using ISNI2ORCID… you get the idea.

ORCID will even start importing information about your service to your discipline soon!

To connect to other identifiers and indices:

  1. From your main profile page, scroll down to the “Works” section and click the “add some now” link. You’ll then be prompted to connect to the services of your choice.

  2. Once you’ve connected your profiles, your works will be imported automatically to ORCID. If you’ve connected another scholarly identifier like your Scopus Author ID, a link will appear in your left-hand menu bar.

Complete your personal information

Finally, add your education credentials and employment history that might not have imported when you connected other services.

Under each section, click the “Add Manually” button, fill out as much descriptive information as you’re comfortable sharing, choose the level of privacy you’d prefer under the “Who can see this?” section in the upper right of the pop-up box, and then click “Add to list” to commit it to your profile.

Step 3. Complete your publication record

It’s possible that not all of your publications and other works will have imported. You can add them in three ways:

  1. Manually by clicking the “Add Work Manually” button under your Works section and adding the publications one-by-one.
  2. Importing works from your Mendeley profile (if you have one already by) using the Mendeley2ORCID service. Just login with your ORCID ID in the top-right corner of the screen, approve a sync with Mendeley, and your works will be imported to ORCID.
  3. Batch import your works using the new BibTeX import button. You can export your works from Google Scholar, EndNote, and many other reference management services in BibTeX format, then click the “Link BibTeX” button under the Works section of your profile, upload your BibTeX file, and you’re done!

If any duplicate records were imported with the Mendeley sync or BibTeX import, you can delete them by clicking the trashcan icon next to the duplicate work’s title.

Step 4. Connect ORCID to the rest of your online life

You can connect your ORCID account with websites including Web of ScienceFigshare, and Impactstory, among many others.

Once they’re connected, you can easily push information back and forth between services–meaning that a complete ORCID record will allow you to automatically import the same information to multiple places, rather than having to enter the same information over and over again on different websites.

And new services are connecting to ORCID every day, sharing information across an increasing number of platforms–repositories, funding agencies, and more!

Limitations

ORCID is still a relatively basic service. You cannot edit incorrect entries, automatically detect and remove duplicates, or export your profile information in BibTeX, JSON-LD, or other researcher-friendly formats.

ORCID also has gaps in its coverage. It doesn’t find all of your publications, all of the time, and connectable third-party services like Scopus don’t always, either. That means you might have to manually add some works and information to your profile, same as you do for Google Scholar, and all other scholarly profiles.

Google Scholar Profile

Google Scholar

Let’s dig in with Google Scholar.

In addition to providing a academic search platform, Google Scholar allows you to showcase your papers and the citations they’ve received. Google Scholar also calculates a platform-dependent h-index, which many researchers love to track (for better or for worse).

In today’s challenge, we’re going to get you to use Google Scholar, so you can up your scholarly SEO (search engine optimization, aka “googleability”), more easily share your publications with new readers, and discover new citations to your work.

Step 1: Create your basic profile

  1. Log on to scholar.google.com and click the “My Citations” link at the top of the page to get your account setup started.
  2. On the first screen, add your affiliation information and university email address so Google Scholar can confirm your account. Add keywords that are relevant to your research interests so others can find you when browsing a subject area. Provide a link to your faculty page.
  3. Click “Next Step,” and--that’s it! Your basic profile is done. Now, let’s add some publications to it.

Step 2: Add publications

Google has likely already been indexing your work for some time now as part of their mission as a scholarly search engine. However, keep in mind that Google Scholar does not index everything.

Google Scholar will provide you with a list of publications they think belong to you. You’ll need to read through the list of publications that it suggests as yours and select which ones you want to add to your profile.

Beware--if you have a common name, it’s likely there’s some publications in this list that don’t belong to you. And there’s also possibly content that you don’t want on your profile because it’s not a scholarly article, or is not representative of your current research path, and so on.

  1. Read through the publications list and deselect any that you do not want to add to your profile (like the below newsletter item that Google Scholar thinks is a scholarly article).

  2. Click the grey “Add” button at the top of your profile.

  3. Confirm you want Google to automatically add new publications to your profile in the future. If you’ve got a very common name, note that this might add publications you didn’t author to your profile. But if you’re a prolific author, it can be worth it for the time it saves you approving new articles every month.

Your profile is now almost complete! Two more steps: add a photo by clicking the “Change Photo” link on your profile homepage, and set your private profile to “Public.”

Step 3: Make your profile public

Your profile is private if you’ve just created it. Change your profile visibility by clicking the link to "Make it public" under your name and title. You can also make your profile public by clicking the Edit button and selecting the box next to the words "Make my profile public."

Step 4: Add co-authors

Adding co-authors is a good way to let others know you’re now on Google Scholar. However, you can only add co-authors who have already created their own Google Scholar profiles. Google Scholar tries to find authors who have user profiles and list them for you. Thus, if you don’t see co-authors, it’s likely they don’t have Google Scholar user profiles.

  1. To add a suggested co-author, find the “Co-authors” section on the top right-hand section of your profile, and then click the plus-sign next to each co- author you want to add.

That’s it! Now you’ve got a Google Scholar profile that helps you track when your work has been cited both in the peer-reviewed literature and, and is yet another scholarly landing page that’ll connect others with your publications. The best part? Google Scholar is pretty good at automatically adding new stuff to your profile, meaning you won’t have to do a lot of work to maintain it.

Step 5: Add missing articles

You might have articles that Google Scholar didn’t automatically add to your profile. If that’s the case, you’ll need to add it manually.

  1. Click the “Add” button in the grey toolbar within your profile.

  1. On the next page, click the “Add article manually” link in the left-hand toolbar. Then you’ll see this screen:

  2. Go ahead and add a new paper to your profile. Include as much descriptive information as possible--it makes it easier for Google Scholar to find citations to your work.

  3. Click “Save” after you’ve finished adding your article metadata, and repeat as necessary until all of your publications are on Google Scholar.

Step 6: Clean up your Google Scholar Profile data

Thanks to Google Scholar Profiles’ “auto add” functionality, your Profile might include some articles you didn’t author.

If that’s the case, you can remove them in one of two ways:

  • Click on the title of each offending article to get to the article’s page, and then clicking the “Delete” button a the top of the page.
  • From the main Profile page, tick the boxes next to each incorrect article and click the “Delete” button in the top grey bar.

If you want to prevent incorrect articles from appearing on your profile in the first place, you can change your Profile settings to require Google Scholar to email you for approval before adding anything. To make this change:

  1. From your main Profile page, click the “More” drop-down menu that appears in the top grey bar:

  2. Select “Profile updates.”
  3. On the next page, change the setting to “Don’t automatically update my profile.”

Prefer to roll the dice? You can keep a close eye on what articles are automatically added to your profile by signing up for alerts and manually removing any incorrect additions that appear. Here’s how to sign up for alerts: click the blue “Follow” button at the top of your profile, select “Follow new articles,” enter your email address, and click “Create alert.”

Step 7: Learn how to export your publications list in BibTeX format

There will likely be a time when you’ll want to export your Google Scholar publications to another service  Mendeley. Here’s how to do that.

  1. Tick the box next to each article whose details you want to export.

  2. Click the "Export" button, and then choose BibTeX to export your file.

  3. Click "Okay" to download your "citations.bib" file.

Limitations

Dirty data in the form of incorrect publications isn’t the only limitation of Google Scholar you should be aware of. The quality of Google Scholar citations has also been questioned, because they’re different from what scholars have traditionally considered to be a citation worth counting: a citation in the peer-reviewed literature.

Google Scholar counts citations from pretty much anywhere they can find them. That means their citation count often includes citations from online undergraduate papers, slides, white papers and similar sources. Because of this, Google scholar citation counts are much higher than those from competitors like Scopus and Web of Science.

That can be a good thing. But you can also argue it’s “inflating” citation counts unfairly. It also makes Google Scholar’s citation counts quite susceptible to gaming techniques like using fake publications to fraudulently raise the numbers.

 

Additionally, Google Scholar is somewhat of an information silo. You cannot export your citation data, meaning that even if you were to amass very impressive citation statistics on the platform, the only way to get them onto your website, CV, or an annual report is to copy and paste them--way too much tedium for most scientists to endure. Their siloed approach to platform building definitely contributes to researchers’ profile fatigue.

Its final major limitation? There’s no telling if Google Scholar will be around tomorrow. Remember Google Reader? Google has a history of killing belovedproducts when the bottom line is in question. It’s not exaggerating to say that Google Scholar Profiles could literally go away at any moment.

That said, the benefits of the platform outweigh the downsides for many.