Identity Management for authors

What is identity management?

Identity management is a means to confirm you as the author of all your publications. If you want to be reliably, permanently and uniquely identifiable, we strongly recommend using an Author ID.

Why is identity management important?

Inadequate management of your author identity could make it difficult to discover research activities in databases, scientific journals, institutional repositories, etc. and it may cause publications to be incorrectly attributed to an author sharing the same name as the actual author. This could have consequences for publication metrics. For example, it is not uncommon that an h-index for an author is too low, because publications are not correctly linked to the author’s identity.

Common situations include:

  • Two or more authors having the same name even within the same discipline, school, or institution.
  • A researcher’s name appearing in different variants.
    Example: Frank G. Grosveld, F. Grosveld, F.G. Grosveld
  • Cultural differences in name order.
  • Name changes after marriage.
    Example: Elise Smith becomes Elise Smith-Johnson
  • Typographical and phonetic errors.
    Example: Stefan Mueller becomes Stefan Muller
  • Different journals formatting names differently.

Therefore, your name alone is not reliably unique enough to confirm you as the author of your publications.

How does identity management solve author name ambiguity?

To overcome these ambiguity problems, several organizations and publishers have developed a system of research identifiers, by which you can be uniquely linked to your publications. Since there is no single standard Author ID, we will present the 4 used most frequently (see below). For optimal identity management, we advise that you manage all 4 author ID’s.

What are the benefits of using an Author ID?

As you might expect from the problems mentioned above, there are several benefits of using an Author ID:

  • Provides a means to distinguish you from other authors with identical or similar names.
  • ​Links together your body of work, especially if you have had or used different names during the course of your career.
  • Ensures that your work is clearly attributed to you and the different affiliations that you might have.
  • Improves discoverability, recognition and impact for you and your research outputs.
  • Makes it easy for others including potential collaborators, funders, prospective employers, conference organizers, publishers to easily find your research output.
  • Is used around the world by publishers, research organizations and funders.
  • Automatically updates your publication list if you provide your ID when submitting a manuscript or apply for a grant.

Author IDs


The acronym ORCID stands for Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID is an initiative to solve the author/contributor name ambiguity problem in scholarly communications by creating a central registry of unique identifiers for individual researchers and an open and transparent linking mechanism between ORCID and other current author ID schemes. An increasing number of funders and publishers will ask for your ORCID.

You can create your own ORCID, which is a 16-digit number (xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx). You can link your ORCID to your publications, and also to other identifiers, such as Scopus Author Identifier and ResearcherID (see below).

For more information on how to create and manage your own ORCID, see the handout made by the University Library.

E-mail for questions about ORCID:

2 – ResearcherID

ResearcherID is the author identifier used in Web of Science. In 2019 all public ResearcherIDs were move to Publons,  the new environment where researchers can benefit from an improved Web of Science ResearcherID.

Your ResearcherID at Publons provides the additional benefit that your peer review activities and journal editing work can be added to your profile, alongside your publication history.

For more information on how to create your own ResearcherID, see the handout made by the University Library.

3 – Scopus Author Identifier

The Scopus Author Identifier distinguishes between names by assigning each author in Scopus a unique number and grouping together all documents written by that author. An algorithm is used that matches author names based on their affiliation, address, subject area, source title, dates of publication citations, and co-authors. If mistakes have been made in this automatic process, you can request author detail corrections (for example merging profiles or excluding publications from your profile). The Scopus Author Identifier can be linked to your ORCID (see Elsevier’s tutorial).

For more information about the Scopus Author Identifier consult the help file of Elsevier. You can also download the handout created by the University Library.

4- Researcher identifier in Google Scholar

You can create your own Google Scholar Citations profile. You have to match your publications to your profile. When you make this profile public, it will appear in the Google Scholar results when people search for your name.

More information about Google Scholar Citations is available here. You can also use the handout created by the University Library.

Correct affiliation for research papers

For the visibility and retrievability of your research papers it is important to use the correct affiliation.  A correct affiliation will also allow correct identification of the output of your department and Erasmus MC. Below are the guidelines for correct use of affiliations for scientific publications, according to the Brand- and name policy of Erasmus MC.

  1. Always use the brand name: Erasmus MC
  2. Use one of these sub-brand names instead, if you are affiliated to one of these institutes, or if the topic of your publication is related to one of these institutes:
    • Erasmus MC Cancer Institute
    • Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital
    • Erasmus MC Transplant Institute
  3. Always use the name of your department, e.g.: Department of Cardiology
  4. If possible, include also: University Medical Center Rotterdam
Examples of correct affiliations

For English publications:

  • Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Department of Cardiology
  • Erasmus MC – Sophia Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Department of Pediatrics
  • Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Department of Urology

For Dutch publications:

  • Erasmus MC, afdeling Immunologie
  • Erasmus MC, Thoraxcentrum, afdeling Cardiologie
  • Erasmus MC Sophia Kinderziekenhuis, afdeling Kindergeneeskunde
  • Erasmus MC Kanker Instituut, afdeling Radiotherapie
  • Erasmus MC Kanker Instituut, Hersentumorcentrum, afdeling Neurologie

The following names should never be used in the affiliation of publications:

  • EMC
  • Erasmus Medisch Centrum
  • Daniel den Hoed
  • Dijkzigt