What are the various author identifier systems?

The following Author identifier and/or profile systems were identified and described by the ODIN project. They are derived from a commonly seen list of tools that researcher are using to manage their scholarly record. See https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1373669.v1 for more information.

Scopus ID

  • Algorithm based author identifiers and profiles
  • Based on affiliation, subject area and other author characteristics
  • Author search is inaccessible to non-subscribers
  • There is an extensive API
  • Some authors have multiple Scopus profiles, especially if the author works in multiple disciplines or institutions
  • No direct editing or claiming but author feedback allows for amendments to profiles
  • A tool is provided to pull the publications from a Scopus author profile into an ORCID profile
  • Service provided by Elsevier and integrated with their other products such as Mendeley
  • Notably used by the UK research excellence framework (REF)


  • User or institution created author identifiers and profiles
  • User populated
  • Can create bi-directional links with ORCID profiles
  • Has a process in place to settle inaccurate claim disputes
  • An API is provided, but documentation currently unavailable for assessment
  • Service provided by Thompson Reuters and heavily integrated in their other products
  • Around 270k identifiers.


  • User driven identifier service
  • Users can create, manage and edit their publishing history and import from various other systems
  • Institutions can create blocks of identifiers and ask authors to ‘claim’ them
  • Extensive search and authentication API with various open source client implementations
  • Update rights via the API require membership
  • More than 4 million identifiers
  • Open, sustainable and community governed

arXiv Author ID

  • Discipline specific (High Energy Physics) author identifier and profile
  • Author identifiers are intended to disambiguate papers within the arXiv repository
  • User created and maintained, semi-automatically populated
  • API unknown

RePec Author Service

  • Discipline specific (Economics) identifier and profiles
  • Users claim from a list of research outputs provided by academic publishers such as Elsevier, Wiley Blackwell, CEPR and institutional archives
  • There is no API
  • Used by RePEc services

PubMed Author ID

  • Development announced in 2010 and abandoned in 2014 in favour of external identifiers provided by publishers
  • Update specifically mentions ORCID iDs

Google Scholar Profiles

  • User driven, semi-automated author profiles
  • Initial import is algorithm based with the ability for users to add and remove works
  • Continuous algorithmic profile updates possible
  • Requires a verified institutional email to make public
  • There is no API, and rate limitations and T&C prevent scraping, no interoperability features
  • Manual user driven export possible
  • Not intended as an author identifier
  • Provided by Google and integrated with Google Scholar

Microsoft academic research ID

  • Provides human editable automatically generated author profiles with attached unique identifiers
  • Provides other tools such as co-author visualization, profile merging and citation counts
  • In contrast with Google Scholar, Microsoft do offer an API
  • It is limited by terms and conditions to non-commercial, academic-only use.


  • Non-discipline specific author disambiguation and profiles
  • Generates author output profiles
  • Based on RePEc Author service
  • Users claim from a list of research outputs provided by publishers and repositories including Crossref, ArXiv and PubMed
  • There is no API, but data is available as bulk download in CC0
  • Venerable, in operation since 1992
  • Funded by the Open Society Institute

JISC Names

  • Automatic author disambiguation system with manual intervention and quality assurance
  • Generating identifiers and associated research outputs
  • Ran from 2007 until 2013
  • Collected data now submitted to ISNI
  • Codebase now open source


  • Semi-automatically derived from library catalogues and other trusted sources using human intervention for quality control
  • Institutions that are members can submit data for matching and ISNI creation. Provides searchable interface and extensive query API
  • Not user editable, although users can suggest changes to existing profiles
  • Intended to be an authoritative source of authorship identifiers


  • Used to maintain professional resume and publication lists, and network with co-authors and funders
  • Frequently mentioned when discussing author identifiers with researchers
  • Positioning itself as an identity authority as well as profile management tool
  • Mature API for identity and profile.

Mendeley Profiles

  • User driven and populated author profiles with social networking/collaboration features Manual creation and import
  • Both desktop and mobile software and a service
  • Public API
  • Not intended as an author identifier
  • Provided by Mendeley/Elsevier
  • Around 3 million profiles


  • Academic social network and collaboration platform for researchers, institutions and publications
  • Users can manage their publishing and work profiles and create connections
  • Provides sharing and citation metrics
  • Open Query API, no update API