Researcher IDs and Profiles

Researcher IDs and Profiles


We recommend that all Columbia affiliates, including students, sign up for 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). Your ORCID ID belongs to you, and stays the same throughout your academic career, even if you move to another institution. 

If you link your ORCID account to trusted organizations (such as an employer, publisher, or funder) and other researcher IDs you may have, ORCID will automatically suggest additions to your ORCID profile which you can accept or reject. You can also choose to make your ORCID profile public or keep it private. 

Journal publishers, funders, academic institutions, and research groups have begun requiring ORCID IDs for all authors and researchers, and the ORCID ID is increasingly used as an authentication method for other platforms and services. 

Visit the ORCID at Columbia page to learn more.

Other Researcher IDs

ORCID is the predominant persistent identifier (PID) for researchers. 

If you are already a published researcher, you may have been assigned a proprietary Scopus ID by Scopus, a citation database covering bibliometrics such as h-index and journal impact factor. Additionally, Clarivate Analytics assigns researchers a ResearcherID, which is a proprietary unique identifier for authors. Both platforms also support ORCIDs but may require that proprietary identifiers be used for access to some of their search functionality, such as with their APIs.

Academic Commons

Academic Commons is the Columbia University digital repository. Columbia affiliates can deposit their research which is then made available openly on the web for global audiences. Materials that are added to Academic Commons are assigned DOIs and preserved by the Libraries. After items have been added to Academic Commons, they are accessible through the public API, which can be used to embed publication information in personal or departmental websites. 

Because Academic Commons is openly accessible online, you must have appropriate permission to share your work if it has been published elsewhere first. Check out the FAQ and Policies pages for more information. 

Academic Social Networks

Many researchers share ideas and information with their disciplinary colleagues on mainstream commercial social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but there are also commercial and nonprofit social networks specifically for academics., ResearchGate, SSRN, and Mendeley are commercial social networks—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, and connect with 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, or by 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, most disciplinary repositories, or generalist open repositories such as Dryad or Zenodo, they neither fulfill the public access requirements for grant-funded research nor offer long term 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.)

Google Scholar

Google Scholar logo

Google makes certain services, such as Google Scholar, available to users at no cost. 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, etc.) 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. Google Scholar also currently supports the ability for you to export your citations from your profile. This allows you to keep a local copy of your citations, and also import them into a citation management software, such as Zotero (which is open source).

Researcher Websites

Wherever you share your work and build your networks, you should have a single place you can call your online home. Many departments offer to host web pages for their faculty members (and, sometimes, graduate students). These can be a good option if your department provides some sort of technical support in getting your initial website up and running and if it is relatively easy for you to make updates when needed. They are also a good choice if you don’t feel like you need a lot of design customizations.

CUIT also provides, for a cost, more robust website solutions for Columbia affiliates that are hosted through the domain. Visit the Columbia Sites page to learn more.

Finally, you might want to create your own personal website that will travel with you throughout your career. While website builders like SquareSpace or Wix can be a good way to get content online quickly, it can be challenging to migrate your content later on. It is not too difficult to sign up for your own web domain, which you can then use with platforms such as WordPress or GitHub Pages, or use to host a website that you design & code yourself.

General Tips

  • 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! (See Measuring Impact for some tips on how to track mentions of your work in the media.)

  • 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’d like more information about how to use any of these services send us an email at: