Research Spotlight: Researcher profiles

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Researcher profiles are online descriptions of a researcher’s body of work. Some profiles, such as ORCiD, are like a digital CV, which researchers can share with colleagues, institutions and the public. Other profiles are more like research-based social media tools that allow researchers to disseminate their work and keep in touch with other researchers. There are also profiles which present the viewer with detailed statistics (or metrics) about an author’s work, allowing the reader to gauge the impact the researcher has had in their discipline and the wider community.

At Charles Sturt University, two of the most important profiles for researchers are their Charles Sturt University Research Output (CRO) profile and their ORCiD profile. CRO is the university’s repository, or electronic storage tool, for everything that is published by staff and research students at the university. Where possible, CRO will also have the full-text of a document, in an open access format that everyone can download and read (this is subject to permission from the copyright holder).

CRO will also list all of the media mentions for the researcher and their research, as well as any alternative metrics such as Twitter and Facebook mentions. Since CRO is open access, it can help to increase exposure to a researcher’s work. It is mandatory for researchers at Charles Sturt to keep their profiles and publications up to date in CRO.

ORCiD is a non-profit organisation that aims to uniquely identify and connect researchers around the world. The acronym stands for Open Researcher and Contributor ID. The organisation is committed to openness and open research. ORCiD profiles are like a digital CV. The researcher can add as much detail as they like, including their education, work experience, grant funding received, and of course their publications. Many funding bodies, such as the Australian Research Council (ARC), now require applicants to have, and maintain, an ORCiD profile.

Impact profiles

Other researcher profiles allow readers to assess how much impact or readership an author’s work has had. Two such profiles are the Scopus Author ID and the Web of Science Researcher ID. Theses profiles are part a function of the respective database, which are only accessible through the Charles Sturt Library.

The Scopus ID is auto-generated by the database itself. This profile allows us to see how many times a work has been cited, and it allows us to link through to the citing references. It also provides us with other metrics about an author, such as how their citation count and h-index are compared to other researchers in their discipline.

Researcher ID is much the same in what it can show us. The differences are that the data is from the Web of Science database rather than Scopus, and that the profile is no auto-generated by the database, rather the researcher needs to request a profile and then claim their publications.

Academic social networks

The last type of profiles are called academic social networks (ASNs). They are more like social media tools for researchers. The two main tools in this category are ResearchGate and Academia.edu. Like ORCiD, they are like an online CV that researchers can share with colleagues and institutions. These sites also claim to help researchers share and disseminate their research.

One problem with these tools is that they are not regulated and researchers will often put full-text copies of their research up on their profiles. This may constitute a breach in copyright rules for the article or work. If publishers become aware of this breach they will tell researchers to remove the publication from the platform, or they may take it up with the site itself.

If you would like to know more about researcher profiles please have a look at the Researcher Profile Library Guide. If you would like to talk to someone about setting up your researcher profiles please feel free to contact a librarian in your faculty:

Arts and Education
Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences
Science

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