Skip to Main Content

ORCID and Researcher IDs: Introduction to Researcher IDs

What is a Researcher ID?

A researcher ID is a code that links a researcher's name to their works, across various academic platforms and databases. This is particularly useful when:

  • multiple researchers have similar or exact-sounding names, because it ensures that work is properly attributed to the corresponding researcher.
  • a researcher's names changes over time, through life transitions such as marriage or gender affirmations.
  • a researcher's name is presented differently depending on the context (for example, M. Jones versus Martha Jones), or when written in multiple languages.
  • a researcher changes institutions, their ID can seamlessly move with them, reducing the need for researchers to clarify their career achievements after transitioning their place of employment or field.

Researcher IDs enable researchers to have direct control in identifying what work belongs to them, and that they are being appropriately credited for the work they have produced. 

ORCID logo

Visit to learn more about researcher IDs.

What Type of Researcher IDs are There?

Researcher ID systems can be associated with one specific platform, including:

  • Google Scholar Author Profile ID (your Google Scholar Author Profile ID can be located by signing into your Google Scholar Profile).
  • Scopus Author ID (if you have published a paper that is indexed in the Scopus database, you likely have a Scopus Author ID, you will just need to claim it. Sign into Scopus to claim your Scopus Author ID). 
  • Web of Science Researcher ID (if you have published a paper that is indexed in the Web of Science database, you likely have a Web of Science Author Record. Sign into Web of Science to claim your Author Record). 

Researcher ID systems can also be consistent across multiple platforms, including:

This guide will describe what ORCID is, how to register for an ORCID account, how to link your ORCID iD to the University of Waterloo, and how to use an ORCID iD in your academic career.