I would like to start publishing scientific papers soon. This issue pertains to the name I will use when publishing.
Basically, I would like to keep my personal and academic life separate and my question is "how can I do this?".
To make it clearer why I want to do this, I'll mention that my current legal name is associated with a certain subculture which is quite unconventional. I want people searching/Googling my professional name to only be exposed to my "academic identity", and people searching for my legal name to only be exposed to my "social identity". There is nothing illegal going on. I'll give an example which is close to reality but I'll refrain from giving exact information. The example is that my "social identity" is an author of erotic novels while my "academic identity" writes papers in mathematics. That's not too far from the reality. I would assume I am not the first one to have unconventional interests outside academia, the issue I guess is that my legal name is already tied to such an interest, which is a problem. And yes, this is quite amusing; feel free to laugh
I would be thankful for any ideas which would allow me to fulfill both my passions, despite their disharmony. Basically, I don't want the names to mix together when someone searches for one of them, but I still want to be able to prove that I wrote the papers (in case I want to use them when applying for a job or for grad school). Hopefully there is some way to achieve this. Other creative ideas to solve this issue are always welcome; maybe I am focusing too much on the name thing and there are other solutions.
I'll wrap this up with some ideas that I had:
- I could just use a pen name for my academic papers I guess. I have finished my BSc lately. Problem here is that if I later want to apply to grad school, and I want to show that I have published papers, it could be hard to prove that I have written them (will it? maybe I'll have a pen-name on the papers but prove ownership by other means? like the email address on the paper?).
- I could use a different spelling of my legal name on the papers (my legal name is not in English anyway, though I graduated from an English speaking university so my BSc has my name in English). That seems like they could still be linked relatively easily though and one could potentially show up when someone Googles the other name.
- I could take on a new middle name (e.g. I could use a variation of my late grandfather's name, which I would gladly do) and use that as the first name in published papers (that seems like it could potentially work).
Some more comments
- My last name is very common; my first name is very uncommon
- I am aware of course that if I go to grad school they'll probably Google my legal name as well, and of course people who know me personally would be aware of what I do. It would be nice to limit it to those scenarios though.
- Yes, I know I should have thought of this before linking my legal name to unconventional topics. I did not tell the whole story though and there was a reason for that.