Researchers using the ACI Scholarly Blog Index in search of credentialed blog content have access to comprehensive information on the authors of those blog posts. Each author profiled in ACI has an author profile page that displays their various professional identifier and social connection affiliations. Because these connections link directly to the author’s designated page in each respective platform, those researching in ACI can easily access the author’s information through that researcher’s preferred platform(s).
The various online identities of researchers are often threaded together, so both professional identifiers and social connections aid those opportunities for discovery and collaboration. Someone’s Twitter profile might contain a link to their blog or ORCID page; their ORCID page might link to their individual articles. However, the benefits of some of the individual identifiers can easily be muddled if you’re unsure how to differentiate them. As a researcher discovering valuable new content in ACI, you’ll have access to available information regarding the author, including their credentials, institutional affiliations, and professional identifiers connecting those authors to their other scholarly works. In order to get the most from those potential avenues of the author’s scholarship and contributions, it’s helpful to keep in mind the various benefits of the available platforms. In addition, for those authors indexed in ACI, knowing more about those identifiers may help for developing or maintaining your own author profile. In doing so, you benefit the other researchers looking to explore the scholarly contributions – and the scholarly contributors – in their respective fields.
Professional Identifiers assist with cross-referencing an author or publication across multiple research points, and will help web researchers locate you or your work. There are several professional identifiers used by researchers, and while many of the applications and benefits may overlap, different identifiers serve different purposes. In addition to helping to identify individual contributors, the benefits of having unique identifiers for researchers and research outputs extends to improved discovery for those findings and more potential access points for those researching in a given discipline.
The primary goal of ORCID is to provide a platform for the accurate identification and attribution of individual researchers. Upon registering for a free account on the ORCID website, the ORCID platform allows a researcher to add education and work history, a biography, and attributable works under 37 trackable type designations, such as articles, data sets, or books. Because developers at ORCID work to adhere to globalized standards, such as the format guidelines set by the ISO, or International Organization for Standardization, ORCID is able to collaborate with other agencies to benefit researchers using those identifiers. For example, they’ve worked with ISNI, or the International Standard Name Identifier, who reserves a unique set of identifiers specifically for use by ORCID. Other platforms, like Cross-Ref and DataCite, can also update the information contained in ORCID when that agency’s metadata includes the ORCID identifier.
Due to ACI’s unique integration of ORCID data into the ACI Scholarly Blog Index, ACI authors who include an ORCID identifier in their author profiles have an added benefit in that the journal articles displayed in ACI reflect the journal data contained in ORCID. For authors that include an ORCID identifier in their profiles, the output data in ORCID’s registry will automatically update the journal article listings on their ACI profile pages with the information maintained in that author’s ORCID account.
Like the ORCID, the International Standard Name Identifier, or ISNI, uniquely identifies an individual content contributor. The ISNI contains standardized information on over 2.25 million unique researchers. Data included with the ISNI varies but is more limited than the ORCID; for example, an ISNI record might contain the author name, work title, and associated institutions. While the types of data contained is less comprehensive than the ORCID, the ISNI is widely used and connected through a valuable linking with institutions and agencies around the world, many of which have additional fields to supplement the data.
Much of this data comes directly from the databases linked to ISNI’s platform. However, you can also set up an individual ISNI identifier manually if your information wasn’t pulled through existing algorithms. You can apply for an ISNI through a registration agency such as Bowker.
According to Elsevier, Scopus is the “world’s largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature”. Scopus data is pulled through the various publications indexed in its database, so author information connected to those records will subsequently be linked within the platform. For this reason, Scopus is a valuable resource for finding content connected to institutions because of the university or agency affiliations linked with that metadata. In addition to coordinating and integrating with various agencies and institutions, Scopus also collaborates with individual identifier platforms like ORCID. For example, researchers can set and manage their author profiles using their scopus to ORCID wizard.
Many researchers already have a Scopus identifier and just don’t realize it. If you’re not sure whether you already have a Scopus, you can check the Scopus lookup tool and search by name and/or institutional affiliation.
The relative youth of the digital research landscape means near-constant reprioritzing and reorganization in research discovery, so it’s worth a closer look when exploring the various platforms that connect a researcher’s scholarly record. And if you’re an author whose blog is indexed in ACI, having these digital identifiers connected within your ACI author profile helps to ensure that those with an interest in your work can find, and follow, your other avenues of content and scholarship.