Who Am I?

Who am I? What’s life all about? These are the really big questions, not only in life, but – as I learnt this morning – also in terms of author identity online. It’s not just about publishing papers using all of your initials, or about collating outputs into an academic CV when applying for funding or jobs. Instead, having a coherent author identity online and across a range of platforms can help to boost citations, make work findable, and help differentiate yourself from (in my case) a whole plethora of cheese makers from Denmark. (Yes, Hanne Nielsen did invent Havarti cheese, but unfortunately I can’t take any credit there!)

So, what are the many portals out there with which it is necessary to be familiar, lest one remain synonymous with dairying breakthroughs? First of all, there is my local University system for recording publications and outputs. Known as WARP, it is a “Web Access Research Portal,” detailing researcher’s bio, funding, and career outputs. To get to a WARP profile you need to click on the “find an expert” field and enter a name – I’m not quite there yet, but expert is certainly what I’m aspiring to be by the end of this PhD process!

Having mastered the local system, the librarian moved on to explaining the tangled web of other IDs that are out there, and that I was supposed to have. Much to my surprise, I actually did have logins for most of these, created some time in the distant past, or in a zombie slumber. Why are they useful? Here’s a summary:

  • ORCID – This is the (unofficial) gold standard for standardising researcher IDs. ORCID is “an open, non-profit, community-based effort to provide a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers.” It crosses any disciplines and national boundaries, and cooperates directly with…
  • SCOPUS ID – Hosted by Elselvier, SCOPUS promotes itself as “the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings.” It can provide great metrics, but only for a particular range of journals which it indexes. At UTAS, these have both took over from…
  • Researcher ID – This system was designed to provide “a solution to the author ambiguity problem within the scholarly research community” by assigning a unique identifier to every researcher. This is integrated with Web Of Science, so useful for scientific researchers. Then there is the google based…
  • Google Scholar – Designed to collate citations and papers in one place, this service also offers suggestions of useful papers as they are published. I’ve had to manually add my papers here, but it’s quite an accessible way of viewing citations.

I’m yet to get my head around those other library tools EndNote and NVivo, but I’m sure their time will come. First, you’ll have to excuse me while I go away and try to come to terms with all of these different profiles and the existential questions that plague every PhD student about the meaning of life

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