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Popular Researcher Identifiers: Introduction to IDs



ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a unique, open digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher with the same or a similar name.

ORCID is an international, interdisciplinary, open, non-proprietary, and not-for-profit organization created by the research community for the benefit of all stakeholders, including you and the organizations that support the research ecosystem.

ORCID ID is composed of 16 digits. For an example of personal profile,**-00**       



Publons and ResearcherID

Publons is a platform for researchers to track and showcase their publications, metrics, editorial work, and peer reviews. Publons has been merged with the ResearcherID in April 2019 that provides unique identifiers for researchers and enables data exchange between Web of Science and ORCID.

ResearcherID keep its previous format. It consists of 1 or 3 English capital letters and 8 digits, eg: D-6173-2011. On the ResearcherID page, cited times and H-index of individual output can be directly obtained from Web of Science Core Collection.

Publons can import works from ORCID, ORCID can not import works from Publons. If you maintain your ORCID well, your Publons is maintained well synchronously.



Scopus Author ID

A Scopus Author ID is automatically generated the first time one of your publications is indexed in Scopus. In Scopus, search for your name or one of your indexed publications and go to your Author Details page (accessed by clicking on your name when it appears in a search results list, a source document details page, or a document details page).

Every year, SUSTech Library helps to clean the scholarly output data of new professors (teaching and research staff) in Scopus : merges multiple Scopus Author IDs into one and updates the affiliation to “Southern University of Science and Technology”. (Note: data cleaning is done in July every year, at present, the work has been done for professors who joined SUSTech before June 30th, 2019.)

There is no guarantee of 100% accuracy for newly published scholarly output being automatically matched to Scopus Author ID by Scopus algorithm. Therefore, we suggest that: 1. If this is your first time using Scopus, please check every piece of your scholarly output. 2. Please maintain your profile page regularly. (Once a semester, or at least once a year.)



Interrelations among three identifiers:

1. Source

ResearcherID: Web of Science

Scopus Author ID: Scopus

ORCID ID: Not-for-profit organization

2. Platform

ResearcherID will be displayed after publications are added to Publons on Web of Science.

Scopus Author ID is an identifier used in Scopus, and is displayed in Scopus the first time one of your publications is indexed.

ORCID ID is associated with many submission systems, for example, ScholarOne, EM etc. You can add your ORCID ID to paper or dataset submission, then authorize Crossref and DataCite to update your ORCID record. When your publication gets a DOI, your ORCID record will get updated. 

ORCID ID will be displayed on Web of Science after data exchange between ORCID and Web of Science (once a month). After importing data from Scopus, ORCID will link to Scopus. ORCID ID will be displayed on Scopus.

3. Data Exchange among different IDs and platforms

ORCID can import works from Scopus.

ResearcherID can import works from ORCID and Web of Science.

Why Do You Need a Researcher Identifier?

Author identifiers serve several purposes:

  • Helps authors with common names or names that are difficult to search identify and claim their publications.
  • Can be used to capture all of the articles by an author, because indexes may input names in different formats.
  • Allows authors who have changed their names to track past publications.
  • Makes it easier to search for work by a specific author (some indexes are adding author IDs).
  • Allows authors who may have worked elsewhere to track their past work.
  • Promotes connections between research and researchers.
  • Increase trust in digital information.

For example, in Web of Science Core Collection, choose Author Identifiers, then you can input ResearcherID or ORCID ID to search (eg. ResearcherID D-6173-2011).


Select SCI, the results are 460 publications (picture on the left). If searching for a name, using Xu Zhenghe will get less results while using Xu ZH will get more and irrelevant results (picture on the right). So if you maintain researcher identifiers well, we can acquire the accurate results of publications and other works. (The results are captured on 24th, June, 2020)



After data exchange between scholar identifiers and database, ResearcherID and ORCID ID will be displayed on the page of Web of Science (as the following picture shows). We can click ResearcherID and ORCID link to open the personal profile.



Profile Photo
王娟玉 Joey Wang

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