In some of the questions regarding author name, it is mentioned that people can use whatever they like, however, they must be consistent across their publications.

When it comes to being hired by a university for a tenure track position or by another principal investigator as a researcher, how can someone prove that they are the author of papers when their author name does not exactly match the one on their ID card? How can a principal investigator be sure that the publication list does actually belong to the person claiming them?

  • 28
    In my experience, this is usually taken on trust, and no verification is done for hiring purposes. So the issue never arises. In case of an actual accusation that the researcher hadn't written their papers, the burden of proof would be on the accuser. – Nate Eldredge Mar 21 '17 at 22:30
  • 6
    In practice this is a non-issue. Academia is a small world. If people know you or the actual authors of these papers they can tell that you lie. If nobody has ever heard of you you are not getting the job anyway. – xLeitix Mar 22 '17 at 13:29
  • I have heard the recommendation to register your author name as a valid pseudonym which then can be included on your ID. (Specifically for people who changed author name though, usually by marrying or legal name change.) – skymningen Oct 16 '17 at 11:32
  • @skymningen i've never heard of that sort of thing, do some countries let you put other names on your state-issued ID? – Azor Ahai -- he him Oct 16 '17 at 16:37
  • @Azor-Ahai Yes, my ID has a field for "Religious name or Pseudonym". – skymningen Oct 17 '17 at 6:14

When it comes to hiring a faculty member, you can expect that members of the search committee will look at a candidate's papers. Since the published paper typically shows the affiliation of the author and the past affiliations of a candidate will appear on the CV, it would generally be obvious if a paper was authored by someone other than the candidate with the same or similar name.

Of course, a candidate could lie about his/her past affiliations, but we have letters of recommendation and reference phone calls to ensure that doesn't happen.

| improve this answer | |

This isn't ordinarily a source of fraud at least in Europe and the USA, though I have noticed some people not curating their Google Scholar pages very carefully, giving them fraudulently high h-indices. But the best way to prove authorship is to get an ORCID, especially if you have a common name. Many journals now require ORCID anyway. And do make and curate a Google Scholar page -- don't let it add papers without your approval!

I look at these sources when I'm hiring not so much to make sure that the papers exist as to check if the papers are any good and who cites them. But if the papers didn't exist at all I'd probably notice.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    How do I manage my Google Scholar page? It has added some old versions of my papers that I don't want to appear there. – Forever Mozart Mar 22 '17 at 4:15
  • 25
    I find it unreasonable to expect people to curate their Google Scholar page. In fact, I ignore that service. When I apply for a science position I'm expected to supply a list of my publications. You can believe that list or not, but what Google believes I've authored is irrelevant. If you are interested in my h-index, you can ask me or calculate it yourself. If Google estimates it too high, there is nothing "fraudulent" about that. – Roland Mar 22 '17 at 9:02
  • 3
    @Roland That being said, you are of course free to not care about the accuracy of your GS profile, but it is likely to not come up positively in an evaluation committee discussion in my field. – xLeitix Mar 22 '17 at 13:27
  • 4
    This must be highly field/country dependent. I'm in physics in the UK, and I've never heard of it being used for anything. ORCID yes, but google ?! – Marianne013 Mar 22 '17 at 14:24
  • 8
    If you go to the trouble of making a google scholar page (which takes like 5 minutes -- I helped someone with 70,000 citations & an h-index over 80 set his up, it was NBD) then you are responsible for its content. If you don't like it, take it down. But I think it's a huge asset. Google Scholar will anyway serve people your most frequently cited paper, but if you have a profile we can see your papers in reverse chronological order (what have you written recently?) and click through to see who is citing you / where your research has gone. Huge asset for demonstrating your research impact. – Joanna Bryson Mar 25 '17 at 13:35

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.