Author Identification

Publications are of high value in the scientific field and contribute to the visibility of a scientist's research. It is therefore in the researchers' interest to ensure that the authorship of a publication is clearly identifiable and that it can be attributed to the persons responsible.
However, an unambiguous and correct identification of an author is not always guaranteed. Different spellings of the name, frequently occurring names, name changes, names with special characters/umlauts can lead to different spellings in databases. Another reason can be a change of institution. As a result, some publications cannot be assigned to the authors responsible or can only be attributed incompletely.
Therefore, the University of Bayreuth recommends all researchers to choose an (internationally) uniform spelling of their own name in scientific publications at the beginning of their academic career and to use only this version during their time in academia. This applies in particular to names with umlauts (ä, ö, ü), prefixes (e.g. von, van der, de), eszett (ß), conjunctions, more than one first name, matronyms/patronyms or double names.
There are also various systems for unique author identification, such as the ORCID iD of the Open Researcher and Contributer ID (ORCID) system, which is independent of any specific publisher and/or institution, or the database-specific ResearcherID in Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics) as well as the Scopus Author Identifier of Scopus (Elsevier). It is not always necessary to create your own author profile, since some databases –such as Scopus – automatically create profiles for authors whose publications are recorded in the database. In the case of existing author profiles, however, it is recommended to review them regularly and update and correct them if necessary.
A unique author profile can ensure that the publications entered in databases are also attributed to the correct author. Whether one or more systems for author identification are used, depends on the cultures of individual disciplines and the desired visibility. Some of the more common author identification systems are briefly presented below.


The Open Researcher and Contributer ID (ORCID) is a directory for the unambiguous identification of researchers, which is independent of any publisher or institution. It has increasingly gained prominence both nationally and internationally in recent years.
The advantages of a personal ORCID profile:
  • Publication list: Various forms of scientific output, e.g. articles, monographs, congress papers, but also research data, patents or software, can be listed in the personal ORCID profile
  • Visibility: ORCID iD (16-digit persistent identification number, e.g. 0000-0001-5727-2427) helps to distinguish researchers from other researchers, possibly of the same name, and ensures the unambiguous attribution of scientific publications.
  • Control: Researchers retain control over their data at all times. They can decide, based on their privacy settings, which information is publicly visible and with whom which data is exchanged. Possible settings are "everyone", "trusted parties" or "only me".
  • Interoperability: Personal ORCID profiles can be linked with other IDs (e.g. ResearcherID, Scopus Author ID). Publication metadata from profiles on other platforms can be transferred into the ORCID profile. When connecting the ORCID iD to another organisation’s system, you are requested to grant permission to the organisation to access the ORCID profile. The authorisation can be revoked if required.
  • Simplification of the publishing process with commercial publishing houses: Some publishers expect at least the corresponding author to provide an ORCID iD when submitting a manuscript. Publishing companies who have committed to requiring ORCID iDs from their authors in the publication process can be found in an open letter on the ORCID pages
As an author you can register for ORCID free of charge and create an ORCID profile. In your ORCID profile you can specify different spellings and other versions of your name and set up links to your website or to other author identifiers.
Since 2016, the DFG-funded project "ORCID DE" has supported the implementation of ORCID at universities and non-university research institutions in Germany. The University of Bayreuth joined the ORCID Germany Consortium in January 2019.
Due to the increasing use of ORCID as a comprehensive and – in contrast to ResearcherID and Scopus Author ID – non-proprietary system for author identification, the use of ORCID iD is recommended by the University of Bayreuth.


ResearcherID is a directory of unique identifiers for authors on Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters). A ResearcherID is suitable for researchers whose publications are recorded in the database Web of Science.
As an author, you can register for a ResearcherID (9-digit alphanumeric character string, for example: A-1009-2008) and create your own author profile. Then you can add the metadata of your publications from Web of Science to your ResearcherID profile and create a publication list. This way you can ensure that your publications on Web of Science are attributed to you as an author. ResearcherID also provides citation metrics for your own publication list. However, this service is limited to those publications that have been added to your profile via Web of Science™ Core Collection and are thus also listed in Web of Science.
If you have an ORCID profile, you can link it to the ResearcherID (moved to Publons since May 2019). This provides you with various additional options. For example, you can transfer publication data from Publons to your ORCID account. Additional information can be found at: How does Publons integrate with ORCID?

Scopus Author Identifier

The Scopus Author Identifier (Scopus Author ID) is generated automatically by Scopus (Elsevier) when a publication is recorded in the Scopus database (for example: 56030991900). However, variants of an author’s name or different affiliations (institutional affiliations) for publications can lead to more than one profile being available for the same author. You can use the free Search-Tool to check whether you already have an author profile with Scopus. If you want to correct errors in the author profile or if you have several author profiles that you would like to merge, you can use the Author Feedback Wizard to request Scopus to make these changes.
New publications in Scopus are automatically assigned to the author profiles. However, the publications cannot always be clearly attributed. Therefore, you should regularly review your author profile and update it if necessary. This ensures that all your publications which are listed in Scopus also appear in your author profile and can be attributed to you. If you already have an ORCID profile, you can import your publication data from Scopus into your ORCID profile:
Due to the increasing use of ORCID as a comprehensive and – in contrast to ResearcherID and Scopus Author ID – non-proprietary system for author identification, the use of ORCID iD is recommended by the University of Bayreuth.
If you have further questions, please contact:

Dr. Birgit Regenfuß

Tel. 0921 / 55 - 3415

Clemens Engelhardt

Tel. 0921 / 55 - 3429
Further information: