Skip to Main Content

Researcher Profiles : Home

Contact Us!

Please reach out with any questions or feedback you have relating to the guide or our services.

Photo of Paije

Paije Wilson

Photo of Trisha

Trisha Adamus


Once you become a published researcher, you will want to manage your online scholarly identity by creating a researcher profile. Among other things, researcher profiles can help you to:

  • Increase the discoverability of your publications
  • Intentionally manage your citation metrics and h-index
  • Network with other researchers
  • Meet funder requirements
  • Communicate your successes as a researcher
  • Prevent name ambiguity (see the box below for additional information)

There are many options for creating a researcher profile, and researchers can use more than one profiling option. Included in this guide are instructions for creating and maintaining ORCID, Scopus, Google Scholar, and Research at UW Madison profiles.

What is Name Ambiguity?

Name ambiguity refers to instances where the authorship of a publication may be unclear due to the author having variations in the spelling or abbreviation of their name, changes in their name, or their having a name identical to those of other authors.

Example Case: John Doe

For example, the author, John Doe, can be referred to as J Doe or as JE Doe, depending on what name they chose to use when they published their manuscript.

Two papers written by J Doe and J E Doe

Or John Doe could have changed their last name at one point in their career (e.g. from J. E. Smith).

Two papers written by J E Doe and J E Smith

There could also be another researcher named John Doe.

Two papers authored by J E Doe, one about publication discoverability and another about toads

In the above cases, how can anyone apart from the author be certain which publications were authored by the John Doe in question?

Why is this issue important?

Publication counts frequently factor into decisions relating to hiring, promotion and tenure, grants, and accreditation. They may also be used to evaluate your success or prestige as a researcher.

You wouldn't want to spend months of work on an article only to not receive credit for it. Creating one or more researcher profiles can help you to avoid this, and ensure you receive credit where credit is due.

How can researcher profiles prevent name ambiguity?

Researcher profiles allow you to intentionally curate and manage your publication record. Doing so increases the discoverability, accessibility, and accuracy of your publication record.

Additionally, platforms such as ORCID and Scopus assign unique author ID numbers to researcher profiles. An author ID works for authors in much the same way a DOI works for publications; the ID is unique to the author, and searching the ID will retrieve any publications associated with the ID within a database.

In the context of our previous example, if J.E. Doe has a researcher profile and an author ID, and consistently includes his author ID on his publications, it will no longer matter how many J.E. Does there are in the world. All of his publications will be listed in one place (i.e. his researcher profile), or anyone can locate his publications by simply searching his author ID.

Contact Us!

The Ebling Library provides education and consultation services for creating and managing researcher profiles.

For additional information, contact Paije Wilson ( or Trisha Adamus (