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Scholarly identity & impact

A woman doing research

Your online identity is shaped by the information about you on the web – both the content you make available and the content that others create about you. While you can’t completely control what others post about you, you can proactively curate and manage your online scholarly identity.

Curate your scholarly identity

Your scholarly identity includes information about you such as your:

  • Training
  • Areas of expertise
  • Publications
  • Funding
  • Research agenda
  • Reputation
  • Contact information

Types of information you should control/manage:

  • Names you publish under or are known by professionally
  • Identifier numbers
    • ORCID iD
    • Other Identifiers (Scopus Author ID, Web of Science ResearcherID, etc.)
  • Digital photo/representational image
  • Email address (that you check often)
  • Personal website address (if you have one)
  • List of publications/presentations with DOIs
  • PDF copies of publications/presentations (if the publication contracts allow sharing them; author manuscript versions otherwise)

The benefits of managing your scholarly identity include:

  • Providing accurate information about yourself
  • Connecting with other researchers
  • Disseminating academic activities
  • Sharing/exchanging materials with other researchers
  • Facilitating tenure/promotion
  • Reducing false or misleading information in search results

Learn more about managing your identity and maximizing your impact.

Explore types of impact

Bibliometrics are statistics used to measure the impact of authors, articles, and publications. They are often looked at for promotion, tenure, and grant funding. Learn more about ways to measure:

Also, learn about Altmetrics - alternative, new ways to measure your impact in today's connected digital world.

Things to keep in mind

Metrics are only one of many indicators that may be used to determine research impact. Others indicators include:

  • publication counts
  • amount of research income
  • number of PhD students
  • size of research group
  • number of PI projects
  • number of patents and licenses obtained
  • real world impacts such as changes in public policy and legislation, economic benefits, or public health outcomes

Be aware of some caveats with these metrics:

  • citations and mentions do not necessarily indicate quality
  • metrics vary greatly from one discipline to another or even between sub-disciplines within a field
  • metrics will vary based upon the age and career length of a researcher
  • databases only gather data from the journals they index
  • bibliometrics and altmetrics can be manipulated by self-citations and buying likes and tweets
  • altmetrics can miss seminal papers