25 April 2017 | Category: Publication strategy

Your scholarly wallet

By Hugo Besemer

Each of us has a number of different cards in our real-life wallet: driving license, ‘OV-chipkaart’, credit card, health insurance card, sports facilities card, etcetera. We complain occasionally that all this is a bit too much, especially when we have difficulty finding the right one. But let’s accept that these cards are a fact of life, we know that they serve different purposes and that they entitle us to different things.

As a scientist, you can create a number of profiles with corresponding identification codes. Other profiles are created for you. For most researchers, it is not so clear what purpose these profiles serve, and what’s in it for them. In this blog we discuss the main options. For more detailed information see this page.


We advise you to at least create an ORCID profile. ORCID provides a service for researchers to create unique, digital identifiers, associated with profiles in which they can claim their works. It is increasingly used by funders and publishers to identify scientists and to overcome the ambiguity of identifying people by personal names and affiliations. You can make more mileage out of your ORCID:

  • It is the best place to maintain a publication list of your papers that you have written in positions in different organisations.
  • If you use your ORCID in your publications, most publishers will submit this metadata to the most important search engines as an extra guarantee that your publications will be attributed to you. These attributions may be used for assessments of your group or yourself.

Citation databases: ResearcherID (Web of Science), ScopusID, My  Citations (Google Scholar)

Defining profiles for these search engines is useful because it makes it easier to get your H-index, and some other metrics from those systems. Note that the H-index is different for the different search engines. Your ScopusID is generated automatically, but you should verify if publications are attributed correctly to you. In the other systems, you have to create the profile yourself and you have to claim your publications when they appear in those systems or, in the cases of Scopus, merge multiple profiles that pertain to you. You can give permission to transfer references from these profiles into your ORCID profile, so you do not have to enter them twice. Check this page for details and addresses.

Social networks: Researchgate, Academia.edu, LinkedIn, Scholarmate, Mendeley

These social networks may be a good channel to reach your peers. Which one is best depends on your field and the network that you want to be part of. LinkedIn is targeting a professional audience, while the other systems are meant for scientists. Keep in mind that these are commercial services that do their best to attract registered users. They may send messages prompting you to claim publications. These messages might seem to come from your co-authors while in fact they are generated automatically.
You can import publication lists from other systems, but you cannot export to other systems such as your ORCID profile (with exception of Mendeley). These network profiles are therefore not the best place to maintain your publication list.

Staff publications

This is a Wageningen University & Research system. It is used for assessments of your group and yourself, and therefore it is important to have a complete publication list there. Input is done by a network, with somebody responsible for each research group. There is an automatic transfer from Scopus to Staff Publications, so the input network does not have to enter those publications. However they verify if this input is complete and correct, and they add those publications that are not in Scopus. The query in Scopus for your publications will be more precise if you use an ORCID. The library is now testing a service that allows you to send publications from Staff Publications automatically to your ORCID profile.

We hope you have a better idea now which cards you should have in your scholarly wallet.

By Hugo Besemer

There is one comment.

  1. Another community platform/citation database of interest might be ScienceOpen: http://blog.scienceopen.com/2017/05/scienceopen-is-a-resource-for-the-community/ (full disclosure: I work for them!)

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