Managing your researcher profile

When thinking about publishing your research, author identity is very important.

It is best to stick with one form of name. Once you have published, the University recommends using the author identifier system ORCID to bring all your publications under one name.

Beyond establishing a consistent author ID, it is good practice to use a social media tool to establish a researcher profile. This way, you can control your online presence and use it to your advantage (that is, to promote your research).

There are many different tools to choose from, consider which tool is popular within your field of research when deciding the option that is best for you.

Your publishing name

When publishing your research it is best to stick with one form of your name. This is so that all of your published material can be found in one search. Consider your form of name carefully when you first publish. For example, think about:

  • Your given name - Do you usually go by a name other than the name on your passport?
  • Your middle initial(s) - Including a middle initial can be a good way to distinguish your work from somebody else with the same first initial and family name.
  • Your family name - If you change your family name (e.g. by getting married), it is better to continue publishing under your original name.

When you choose what form of name to publish under choose something that you will be happy to use for the rest of your time in research.

Reseacher Profile system

VU’s Researcher Profile system went live early 2019. To realise full benefit from this system, it is essential that all researchers engage and create a (new) profile. If you haven’t done so already, act now to improve the discoverability of your research expertise.

Building your individual researcher profile will:

  • improve your professional identification
  • improve discoverability of your research profile
  • enable collaborations and student supervisions, as well as facilitate enhanced HDR student applications
  • build your researcher reputation and promote the University.

This new centralised system replaces manual profile creation with an automated workflow process that creates, updates, reviews and archives profiles.


The User Guide for Researchers is available on our staff SharePoint site (VU login required).

VU Elements

VU Elements is your internal VU research profile. It is an automatic search and harvest tool for research outputs indexed by external publication data sources, such as Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed and ArXiv.

It is important to maintain your VU Elements profile and keep it up-to-date as your publication data for HERDC, ERA and MORA submissions will be reported through this system.

If you have any questions about updating your publications in VU Elements, please contact your College Librarian listed on the Library research support page.

ORCID - Open Researcher & Contributor ID

ORCID is an open, not-for-profit, community-based effort to provide a cross-platform registry of unique researcher identifiers.

The difference between ORCID and other author IDs is it enables automated linkages between a researcher's activities and their research outputs across the board e.g. publication databases and funding sources. As such, ORCID IDs are now being incorporated into different workflows.

Many publications and funders are now asking authors to supply their ORCID user, look for this option next time you make a submission.

Scopus Author ID

The Scopus Author Identifier feature allows researchers to accurately distinguish between publications written by people with similar names. Scopus assigns an Author ID to each author, assembling affiliations and publications based on the content of indexed articles and author feedback.

Check every few months that your publications indexed in Scopus are linked under the one author identifier. If not, you can send a request to merge authors.

Researcher profile tools

There are a wide range of researcher profile tools currently available and all have slightly different functionality. They can differentiate into:

  • personal sites and social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and academic blogs
  • researcher communities such as and ResearchGate
  • reference management tools with social functions such as Mendeley
  • search engines with author profiles such as Google Scholar My Citations and Scopus
  • university author profile pages.

Contact us

For assistance with managing your research profile at VU:

Contact a Research Librarian or your College Librarian

Visit the Library research support page for contact details.

Submit a support ticket

  1. Visit the VU Support Hub (login required).
  2. Click on the 'Research' tile (scroll down to access).
  3. Click 'Submit a new ticket'.
  4. Select an item from the Service Catalog.
  5. Enter the details of your request.
  6. Click 'Review & Submit', then click 'Submit'.