I am preparing the final document of my PhD and I would like to include some kind of identifier to my person – something like a DOI for people. My intention is to to make it easy for the readers of my thesis to get in touch with me and to have a look at my other work. As I don't know at what university I will work in the future, it shouldn't be something related to my current university.

I feel like ORCiD or Google Scholar could be good options, but there are many others out there, such as Mendeley, Scopus, etc. However, I would prefer to include only one or two links. What are the most professional, persistent, and commonly used researcher profiles in academia?


4 Answers 4


What are the most professional, persistent, and commonly used researcher profiles in academia?

Name, surname and current institution. :)

Everything else is just a new fad that may not stand the test of time. Although, among those that you cite, Orcid has the most potential because:

  • it is explicitly designed to be persistent and used for disambiguation;
  • its functioning and access model is more open than those of the competitors, and because of this many independent services have started integrating it;
  • it is backed by a large consortium of publishers and organizations, including those who make Scopus and Web of Science and most of the other (currently) big players in the publishing business.

If you are worried about proving that you wrote the document and not someone else with the same name, consider including a short bio and a profile picture, like it is sometimes done in journals.

  • Thanks! I edited the question to reflect my intention for providing an identifier. I would simply like to make it easy for people to contact me and to get an overview of my other work.
    – n1000
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 8:57
  • 3
    @n1000 if you specify it like that, your own website or just the email would be the right way.
    – Džuris
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 12:50
  • @Džuris - I like the homepage suggestion. Why don't you put that in an answer? Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 3:29

ORCID ID is my recommendation. It's a standard amongst scholarly publishers, and its adoption is increasing. If you're planning on publishing, I think there's no question of competition. Publishers and bibliographic metadata systems have the infrastructure in place to deal with ORCID IDs. It's resolvable, so people can click on it to get to your profile. And you can include links to your other publications on your profile.

In terms of fads and persistence, unlike Google (which shuts down services left right and centre), ORCID has a plan for future sustainability, including what happens if the organisation shuts down. And you can take an ORCID with you when you move institution, and link it to other ORCID IDs if needed.

And regarding Federico's answer, lucky you if you're the only John Smith at XYZ University. Luckier still if there wasn't ever a John Smith before or after your time there. That's not true for a lot of people!

Disclaimer: I work at Crossref, who are the DOI Registration Agency for scholarly publication, and it is affiliated to ORCID. However I'm writing this in a personal capacity.

  • Thanks for the contribution! I am not claiming names are the perfect solution, and the ambiguity you highlight is problematic; but, as present, they are arguably the "most professional, persistent, and commonly used" form of researcher ID, which is what OP was asking. Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 17:06
  • My point concerned the 'persistence': there may be other John Smiths after you.
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 17:09
  • Good answer (including the critique of Federico's answer on ambiguity). +1. BTW, a quick question, if you have experience with that... Do RESTful APIs for DOI minting usually differ between Crossref, DataCite, EZID, etc.? Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 0:35
  • Happy to try and answer in this box. Yes. DataCite and Crossref are for different things (scholarly publications vs datasets) although they overlap. Only Crossref or DataCite members can deposit, though both have affiliates (e.g. FigShare for DataCite) through with you can. That said, this may interest you: github.com/CrossRef/rest-api-doc/blob/master/deposit_api.md
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 11:30

Some professional societies provide email or web forwarding services to their members. For instance, the American Mathematical Society lets members choose an address [email protected] which the member can update indefinitely to forward to their current address as they change institutions.

  • 5
    I would be very careful with the long-term lock-in that this solution implies. "Do you want to continue using that e-mail address you put on our article? Pay the $200 annual fee!" Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 17:03
  • 3
    As someone who hast just cancelled membership to the ACM, I'm glad I didn't use their email forwarding!
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 17:10
  • I originally got an AMS email address with this sort of reason in mind, but in practice never used it.
    – Kimball
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 2:29
  • As an addition to that: Often universities allow (paying) alumnis to continue using an affiliated mail address. However, I was having more of a profile in mind (not only an email contact).
    – n1000
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 12:35

The industry standard identifier is email. It is unique, it is yours, it can be used to contact you. Just use some email that will stick with you not the institution :)

But if you want people to be able to get overview of your work without contacting you, you should set up a personal website. Don't worry if you don't know any coding - there are content management systems that allow you to make simple websites and put some information by pointing and clicking. And don't worry about costs. A domain name will probably cost you some 10-15 dollars per year and hosting goes that's perfect for your needs might go below 2$ per month. So by paying under 40$ per year you could have a website that's entirely yours and it might include email as well.

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