It can be difficult to get an accurate picture of your research impact, especially due to common names, inconsistent use of middle initials, and name changes. Unique author identifiers assign numbers to individuals, ensuring that your entire set of publications is discoverable and linked to you.
ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is an open, non-profit initiative that aims to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers. It is free to use. ORCID can be integrated into every step of the research workflow, from grant application to manuscript submission. ORCID works across resources, allowing you to integrate your profile with your ResearcherID and Scopus Author ID.
The Scopus Author Identifier automatically differentiates authors with similar names using an algorithm based on affiliation, address, subject area, co-authors, and other factors. When you run an author search in Scopus, you will see publications grouped together based on their author, despite having similar names. You don't need to sign up for an account, and you can request that changes be made to your author profile if necessary. You can also use your Scopus Author ID to set up your ORCID profile.
Google Scholar Citations allows authors to track citations of their work and provides citation metrics and graphs. Google Scholar allows you to make your profile available to the public so it shows up when people search your name in Google Scholar. You can also choose to have your list of publications update automatically, review the updates yourself, or manually update your publications.
Google Scholar may be an especially helpful resource for researchers in the social sciences, as it includes books as well as other methods of publication not indexed by major databases.