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Researcher Profiles, Identifiers, and Social Networks: Considerations

Tips on how to promote your research and profile as a researcher.

Tips for creating and maintaining your online presence

Consider what information you should disclose

Make sure you only publish information on your research profiles that you are happy and legally allowed to disclose to others.  For Example, ORCID allows you to only display your name and ORCID ID number to the public, while you account is populated with your publications for grant applications, etc.

Make sure you have the right to share materials

If you have published a paper, you should check the journal publisher's policy conditions before uploading it. You can use the database Sherpa Romeo to find publisher's policies.

Many publishers allow researchers free use of the author's original manuscript or author's accepted manuscript, but it is important to check any publishing agreement you sign.

Consider the time commitment

Before you create a new profile consider whether you have enough time to regularly monitor the profile and keep it up-to-date. It is advantageous to select one, such as ORCID, to be your primary account to update and check periodically.

Customize your settings

If you decide to use a new tool, make sure you customize your email notification and update settings so that you can use the tool efficiently and do not receive too many notifications.

Manage your name

Set up an ORCID identifier and include your ORCID ID on your profile sites, social media accounts, and email signature.

Measures of Research Impact

Citation counts alone are not an indication of excellent research

Citation counts should be used with other qualitative measures.

Citation tools are limited

No single tool can provide a comprehensive measurement of research publication impact.

Tools that provide citation metrics, such as Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar, can only gather metrics based on the publications they index.

You should remember that:

  • No tool indexes all research publications, and
  • Citation metrics from different tools may vary as they index different publications.


You could consider alternative metrics, or altmetrics, such as the number of times your research outputs are viewed, downloaded, bookmarked, discussed or shared online, for example on social media websites.

Altmetrics may be particularly useful for measuring the impact of grey literature, for example any of your research outputs which have not been published in books or journals, such as posters, patents, preprints, theses, reports or working papers.


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