Library Services


Researcher identifiers

The large number of researchers currently publishing can make it hard to accurately link authors with their papers, particularly where someone has a very common name and works in a large institution. A number of initiatives have tried to attach standard identifiers to authors to help ensure correct attribution; some of these are assigned automatically by database systems, others are voluntary services. Many are integrated with RPS, so papers associated with a known identifier will automatically be imported. This page outlines some of the ones most commonly encountered.


ORCID (orcid.org) is intended to be a independent identifier, not linked to any one service. Identifiers are controlled by the researcher, who decides what information is displayed and what publications are associated with it. It is used to associate papers with authors in Scopus and Web of Science, and a growing number of publishers now request it when a paper is submitted, so that the identifier can be embedded in the metadata. More information, and how to register, is available on the UCL Open Access pages.

The identifier automatically creates a profile page at the ORCID site, but the researcher controls what (if any) publications or metadata is displayed. No metrics are shown.


Scopus identifiers are created automatically by the Scopus publications database, and used to link papers with the same author, or to browse within the database. These records are not directly controlled by the researcher, but they (or a third party) can submit corrections or request that two records be merged (more details). It can be associated with an ORCID identifier.

The identifier automatically generates a profile page in Scopus, with a list of publications and some associated bibliometrics.

ResearcherID (Publons)

ResearcherID was a service offered by Clarivate (Web of Science). It was closely integrated with Web of Science, and allowed researchers to build a profile page listing their publications and some bibliometrics. The identifier could also be used to search within Web of Science.

From April 2019, ResearcherID was integrated into Publons, another Clarivate tool which lets authors track their peer-reviewing activity. (Existing ResearcherID numbers remain linked to Publons accounts, but no new IDs can be registered). A Publons account has a similar functionality for displaying a user profile and some bibliometrics, but does not provide an identifier for searching within Web of Science.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar offers a "profiles" service, which allow a researcher to control and curate a publications list on Google Scholar. It requires an existing Google account, and profile pages only created if the researcher opts-in.

The profile lists all publications, along with some associated bibliometrics. (See some examples of UCL researchers with Google Scholar profiles.)