I have been publishing in the past with a certain abbreviation of my name which I am unsatisfied due to draconian rules in my previous institution which wrote my name in the following way: X. Y. Z. lastname2.

Being my name composed of the following nouns: firstname1 firstname2 lastname1 lastname2.

For new publications I wish to change it to another format such as X. Y. lastname1 lastname2.

I wonder about the impact it might have in my academic profile, this is, whether articles databases would fail to index correctly both of the publications to the same person.

I also wonder what other complications this change of my name abbreviations might carry.

  • This may be field dependent since different fields use different software and systems to keep track of citations.
    – JoshuaZ
    May 13, 2020 at 20:52
  • How many publications are under XYZ Lastname1? May 13, 2020 at 21:29
  • @AzorAhai there are two works with that institution May 13, 2020 at 22:03
  • A few of my early papers have my name in the form "A. R. Blass"; the rest of my papers have "Andreas Blass".The only effect of the change that I've seen is one letter, long ago, from Mathematical Reviews, asking me to confirm that both names denote me. More generally, Mathematical Reviews (now MathSciNet) is very good at determining when two names denote the same person. I don't know whether fields other than mathematics have something similar. May 15, 2020 at 3:37

2 Answers 2


One of the implications that will happen is that it will be slightly more tricky to cite your works:

However, I have to say that the problem of the different spelling of the name in cited works happens quite often, so I would incline to say that the author being happy with the way their name is spelled is much more important.


Orcid is a modern tool for disambiguating researcher identities.

You could also have a public Google scholar profile, Arxiv profile if appropriate, and profiles at any academic social networking sites widely used in your discipline and make sure they all list all of your articles, and no others. (Having falsely listed articles reduces the trustworthiness of the listings; many Google scholar profiles have random entries with no citations at the end, for example, due to people with similar names having written a bachelor's thesis at a professional higher education facility.)

Given these solutions, it should not be a huge deal to change the way your name is written. People do also change their names and survive the process, so you should be fine.

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