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Author Identity Management

Name Ambiguity Issues, ORCID Creation and Integration

About Author Name Ambiguity

You know who you are, but do others?

"….Of the more than 6 million authors in a major journal citations and abstracts database, more than two-thirds of them share a last name and single initial with another author, and an ambiguous name in the same database refers on average to eight people…."

The Newsletter of the Australian National Data Service, Issue 18, April 2014


Author name ambiguity is a longstanding issue in scholarly communication with adverse consequences.
Common situations include (but are not limited to):

Who is who?
  • Two or more researchers having the same name
    even within the same discipline, school, or institution
  • A researcher's name appearing in different variants
    Example: Tom H. Wang, Tom Ho Man Wang, T.H. Wang
  • Cultural differences in name order
  • Name changes after marriage
    Example: Elise Smith becomes Elise Smith-Johnson
  • Typographical and phonetic errors
    Example: Stefan Mueller becomes Stefan Muller
  • Translation and transliteration
    Example: Shin Yeungju vs Sinn Young Joo
  • Different journals formatting names differently

Your name alone is not reliably unique enough to confirm you as the author of your publications.


How does having an ORCID iD help resolve author name ambiguity?

  • It can make your work more discoverable which increases your research visibility and impact
  • It reduces misattribution of your work to someone else, thus ensuring that you receive full credit for your work
  • It improves your bibliometrics by linking your works to a single name

Read more about ORCID here