Because the odds that you are the only person in the world with your name are slim, especially if your name is Smith, Li, or Nguyen.
By using your unique identifier for your grant applications, articles, web page, or presentations, you make sure your work is properly attributed to you.
There are several platforms where you can create a researcher profile. Although some identifiers can be linked, this is not always the case. Ideally, you should obtain an identifier for each of the platforms presented here.
By creating a profile on certain platforms, you can also follow your publications and citations conveniently, without having to search for them every time you log in.
All platforms presented here allow searching for collaborators or competitors in your field of interest.
Since Google Scholar is free and widely known, it is a good idea to create a researcher profile here. To connect to Google Scholar Citations, simply create a Google account or use the one you already have.
Use the Google Scholar Citation FAQ to help you create your profile.
A word of caution: Google Scholar includes non-academic data sources such as class reading lists and promotional pages. In addition to duplicated data, Google Scholar sometimes mentions citations that are not really citations. A study has even found documents published in the 80s "citing" a document published in the 2000s.
The number of citations to a document in Google Scholar is very often exaggerated.
ORCID aims to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers.
The ORCID Registry is free of charge to individual researchers. ORCID is a not-for-profit organization that is not owned by a publisher or commercial database.
This platform is gaining popularity and is supported by several member organizations, such as Elsevier and IEEE.
For more information on how an ORCID identifier can be useful to you, click here.
ResearchGate and Academia are two social networking sites for researchers and scientists from a variety of disciplines. The two sites allow exchange of knowledge between members, who also can create groups.