Scholarly Reputation Guide

This guide will help you get started in promoting your work and managing your scholarly reputation online.


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Erin Owens
Pronouns: she/her/hers
ORCID: 0000-0001-9520-9314
NGL 223D

Unique Author Identifiers

Even if your name isn't as common as "John Smith," you may be startled to discover how many other researchers in your field have similar names. A 2009 study of author-name ambiguity within the MEDLINE database found that nearly two-thirds of authors had ambiguous names.

The problem is exacerbated in disciplines which cite only first initials, such that "Erin Martinez" and "Edward Martinez" are both cited as "Martinez, E." In addition to commonly occuring names, issues with name confusion may also arise as a result of name changes (e.g., at marriage); transliteration; accents, diacritics, or other special characters in a name; or even simple typos.

Unique identifiers assigned to each researcher helps to disambiguate author names, ensuring that your work can clearly be identified and credited to you. ORCID and ResearcherID are two significant examples of options for establishing a unique author identifier.

Author Identifiers to Know

SHSU is now an ORCID member! Login with your SHSU credentials.

Want help populating and maintaining your ORCID profile? Assign Erin Owens, Professor and Scholarly Communications Librarian, as a delegate!


(click on the image to download the infographic in PDF)

Infographic: The Value of Using Unique Identifiers for Researchers




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