We recommend that all Columbia faculty and graduate students get an ORCID ID, a persistent digital name identifier that distinguishes you from any other scholar with the same name and assures that your research is correctly attributed to you (even when it’s published under a different variation of your name). Journal publishers, funders, and academic institutions have begun requiring ORCID identifiers for all authors and researchers, and the ORCID identifier is increasingly used as an authentication method for other platforms and services. Learn more!
Setting Up a Google Scholar Profile
If you’re curious about where you are being cited (and by whom), setting up a free Google Scholar profile can be a helpful place to start. Once you’ve made your profile, Google will automatically enrich it with publications it deems to be yours (if you have a particularly common name, it’s a good idea to check these, and then tell Google that you want to approve any others it finds before they are added to your profile). Once Google indexes an article (or presentation, white paper, and so on) that cites your work, you’ll see those citations on your profile too. You can even set up alerts to be sent when your work is cited—or when research similar in subject matter to your own is published.
Check out our guide on how to set up your Google Scholar profile.
Other Researcher Profiles
If you are a STEM researcher, you have probably been assigned a proprietary Scopus ID by Scopus, a citation database covering bibliometrics such as H-index and journal impact factor. It features an Author Feedback Wizard that allows you to verify that articles associated with your ID are in fact yours, and you can connect the Scopus ID to your ORCiD to make newer publications registered to your ORCiD automatically appear in Scopus sooner.
Clarivate Analytics’ ResearcherID is a proprietary unique identifier for authors, similar in purpose to ORCiD, with which it interoperates.
Academic Social Networks
Many researchers share ideas and information with their disciplinary colleagues on mainstream commercial social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but specialized social networks for academics also exist both in the commercial and nonprofit sectors. Academia.edu, ResearchGate, SSRN, and Mendeley are examples of the former—large, venture-capital or publisher-funded networks that purport to help researchers make connections and increase the impact of their work. Users can create profile pages, upload publications (albeit often illegally), and connect with and follow other users—but at a cost. While these sites are free to use, they need to make money—and they do so by selling advertising space, ingesting user data and contacts (people must sign in or sign up to access your “open-access” scholarship) and then selling it back to researchers and others. What’s more, unlike institutional repositories such as Academic Commons or some disciplinary repositories (see our open-access page) they neither fulfill the public access requirements for grant-funded research nor offer longterm preservation of your work. (For more information about the differences between commercial scholarly networks and institutional repositories, see this excellent article from the University of California's Office of Scholarly Communication.)
Wherever you share your work and build your networks, you should have a single place you can call your online home. Many departments offer host web pages for their faculty members (and, sometimes, graduate students) but these are often difficult to update and limited in the scope of how you can represent yourself. If your coding chops aren't quite up to speed, one easy solution is to use one of the many easy site builders such as WordPress, SquareSpace, or GitHub Pages. CUIT offers hosted WordPress sites for individuals and teams affiliated with Columbia at blogs.cuit.columbia.edu.
- Keep your site (and CV) updated!
- Take advantage of the non-paper nature of the Web: embed video or audio of you teaching or talking, include a slide deck from a recent presentation, link to openly available versions of your publications.
- Include links to your other profiles across the Web so that other researchers can find you wherever they prefer to network. If you use Twitter professionally, consider embedding your Twitter feed on your site.
- Did you win a teaching award? Are you particularly proud of your mentorship? Be sure to feature elements of your professional self that might be eclipsed on a departmental web page.
- Link to your CV by all means, but include a short bio and a photo so that people can quickly understand your research interests and experience.
- If your work is being talked about in the media, be sure to link to that coverage!
- List conferences and events you'll be attending in the future so that people interested in collaboration will know where to find you in person.
- Consider adding a research blog where you can think through ideas, new projects, and events you attend, in addition to the more static content on your site.
If you need help with how to do any of this, come talk to us in digital scholarship.