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Online Scholarly Identity

Resources to help you create an online identity.


An ORCID ID provides a free, unique, permanent identifier number to researchers and helps distinguish you from other researchers. An ORCID ID can be used by publishers, funders, associations and other organizations to make sure your work is correctly attributed to you. In fact, some funders and journals now require an ORCID ID for submissions.  It distinguishes you from other researchers or scholars with the same name.  An ORCID ID stays with you throughout your career, whether you change your name or institution.

You can connect your ORCID ID with your professional information, such as, affiliations, grants, publications, peer review, and more. You can use your iD to share your information with other systems, ensuring you get recognition for all your contributions, saving time and hassles, and reducing the risk of errors.

The ORCID ID website has helpful information for researchers and resources to get you started.

Northwestern faculty, staff and students who wish to get an ORCID iD or associate your ORCID iD with your Northwestern NetID should go to: 

Not sure if you have an ORCID iD? Search for your name here: https//

SIgn up today. it only takes a couple of minutes.

For more detailed information about ORCID visit the ORCID Research Guide.


Google Scholar Profile

Setting up a Google Scholar profile is free and an easy way to collate your publications (and citations to them). This helps others find your work and perhaps find an accessible copy to read.  You can make your profile public or keep it private. You can also choose automatic updates which is a simple way to update your publications list. If you create a Google Scholar profile, your profile will come high up the page rankings if people are searching for your work.

To create a Google Scholar profile, click on the profile icon on the upper left of the Google Scholar home page.

Once you create a Google Scholar profile, Google will add any citations to your work to your profile. Click on the "Cited by" link under each article to see who has cited you.


Digital Object Identifyers (DOI's)

A Digital Object Identifier (DOI), is a string of numbers, letters and symbols used to permanently identify an article or document and link to it on the web.  While a web address (URL) might change, the DOI will never change. The DOI creation process is governed and managed by the International DOI FoundationCrossref, a registration agency for the International DOI Foundation, assigns DOIs to scholarly research publications including journal articles, books, and conference proceedings. DOIs make it easy to track when and where your work is cited, discussed, shared, bookmarked, or otherwise used across the internet.

Here is an example DOI: 

In most recently published articles, the DOI will be printed with the article itself, usually on the first page somewhere, or in the header or footer. You can mint DOI's for digital objects that do not have a DOI. However, do not create more than one DOI for a research output or mint a DOI for anything that already has one. This will complicate your ability to track usage of your work, since it no longer has a unique identifier for effective monitoring.