Identity and impact

Managing your identity

Managing your identity helps you to ensure that your work is unambiguously attributed to you and can help to raise your researcher profile.

Create an ORCID iD

A key thing to do is to create an ORCID iD.  This is a unique identifier which:

  • identifies you, even if you have  various versions of your name
  • distinguishes you from other researchers with a similar name
  • provides a record of your works
  • facilitates communication with other systems in the university and those managed by research funders and publishers

Find out more on the Library’s pages about ORCID.

Researcher ID (web of Science)

If your work appears in Web of Science you can create a Researcher ID.   This is a unique profile in Web of Science which links to your publications. You can also link your Researcher ID with your ORCID ID.

Scopus Author Identifier

If your work appears in Scopus, you will have a Scopus Author Identifier.  This helps to identify and pull together your work in Scopus.  It can be linked with your ORCID ID to help you to maintain your record.

Find out more from the Scopus page Manage my author profile

The name you use on your outputs

If you are new to publishing you should think about the name you use on your outputs so that your work can be attributed to you.

  • Be consistent by using the same version of your name on all your work. For example, choose either Stephen Grey or Steve Grey but don’t mix and match.
  • If your name is likely to be shared with another researcher, consider using your middle names or initials if you have them. For example, Sarah K. Jones instead of Sarah Jones.  However, be sure to do this consistently
  • Ensure your affiliation is included in your publications. If you include the organisation at which you work this will help to differentiate you from someone with a similar name who is working elsewhere.  This is also required by the SHU open access publishing policy.
Your researcher profiles: ResearchGate, Google, etc.

Your profile(s) are your shop window to the world.  Consider where you would like to have a presence and remember to maintain your profiles on the services you have decided to use.

If you are a member of staff, your outputs on the SHU Institutional Repository SHURA are used to populate your SHU profile on the University’s externally facing web pages. It is therefore important to keep the record of your outputs up to date.  You also need to do this to increase their visibility and ensure you are complying with requirements from SHU, HEFCE and funders.

You may also wish to create profiles and publication lists in social networking services for researchers such as ResearchGate or Academia.  If you are thinking of using these sites, please have a look at our page about depositing your research outputs on social networking sites.

You may also wish to use Kudos to explain and share your work to a wider audience.  If you already have an ORCID ID with your list of your publications,  you can connect this with Kudos.

Another option is to set up a Google Scholar profile using Google Scholar Citations.   You can create a public or private profile in Google Scholar with information about you and links to your publications.

If any of your publications are retrievable on Microsoft Academic you will automatically have a profile.  Search for yourself to find and then claim your profile  if you wish to edit and maintain it.

There are many other tools and sites you could consider using to raise your researcher profile and build a social media network, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Mendeley, etc.  Investigate your options and consider carefully where you would like to invest your time and effort.


Measuring your academic impact

There are a various ways that you can measure and track the academic impact of your research outputs.   Metrics that help you to do this fall into the categories of citation metrics and altmetrics.

Citation metrics
Citations  have traditionally been seen as an indication that the cited work is being used to advance the research of others and can therefore be considered an indication of impact.  Arguably, they could be more appropriately seen as an indication of academic attention.

  • You may see citation counts being used to help determine the impact of a particular article. However, these are a rather crude way of measuring impact and have many limitations. It can still be  interesting to track citations to your work to find out more about the documents which have cited your work, analyse the citing documents and be alerted to any new citations to your work.
  • Your h-index attempts to measure your productivity and impact based on the citations to your body of work.  Again however, it has some fundamental flaws.

In the last few years altmetrics have become available.  These are measures of article views & downloads, social media mentions, news mentions and captures & shares on tools such as Mendeley. Altmetrics can help toward measuring attention before citations are likely to happen and can give a wider picture beyond the academic literature.  Use them to help build a ‘story’ around the reach of your outputs, alongside citation metrics and other measures of impact.

Responsible use of metrics in research analysis
It is important to understand the limitations of any metrics you use and to use them for appropriate purposes. For example:

  • citation metrics aren’t capable of measuring broader societal and economic impact
  • metrics such as citation counts may be ‘quantitative’ but they are dependent on citation practices
  • it is considered illegitimate to use journal levels bibliometrics to evaluate the quality of particular articles published in the journal or to evaluate the researchers writing the articles in the journal

You may want to read the Library Research Support Team’s approach to the  responsible use of metrics advice and to consider the advice in the Leiden Manifesto and the Metric Tide report (pgs 134-5).

You may find the short video below useful.  It describes 10 principles to guide the use of metrics in research evaluation and is a video version of the Nature paper:
Hicks, D., Wouters, P., Waltman, L.,  de Rijke, S. & Rafols I. (2015). The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics: use these 10 principles to guide research evaluation. Nature, April 23, 520:429-431. doi:10.1038/520429a.

The Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics from Diana Hicks on Vimeo.