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Research Impact Challenge

Welcome to Day 2 of the Research Impact Challenge!
Today’s challenge is to make the most of Google Scholar by claiming your profile.

Why a Google Scholar Profile?
Google Scholar offers a popular way to create a profile that showcases your papers and the citations they’ve received. It also calculates a platform-dependent h-index and i10-index, which many researchers love to track (for better or for worse). See Google's description of their metrics. Plus, Google Scholar is free to use, meaning you can access it at any part of your academic career without a subscription. Note: we'll come back to metrics on Day 5 of the Research Impact Challenge


Today's challenge:
Claim your Google Scholar profile in order to increase your scholarly search engine optimization (aka “googleability”), more easily share your publications with new readers, and discover new citations to your work from across the scholarly web.

Here's how to get started:
1. Create your basic profile.

Sign in to scholar.google.com (top right corner of the page) and click the “My profile” link at the top left of the page to get your account setup started.

image that points to where to click for the profile option in Google Scholar

On the first screen, add your affiliation information and university email address, so Google Scholar can confirm your account. Add keywords that are relevant to your research interests, so others can find you when browsing a subject area. Provide a link to your professional homepage, if you have one. Then, click "Next."

image of text entry for Google Scholar profile page 1, which includes adding information about you as a scholar


2. Add publications.

If you have already been publishing, Google has likely been indexing your work for some time as part of their mission as a scholarly search engine. So, this step is pretty easy, compared to what it takes to get your work on sites like Academia.edu or ResearchGate.

 

image for Google Scholar profile entry page 2, which includes adding articles to your profile

Google Scholar will provide you with a list of publications that may belong to you. You’ll need to read through and select which ones you want to add to your profile. Beware–if you have a common name, it’s likely there are some publications in this list that don’t belong to you. And there may be content that you don’t want on your profile because it’s not a scholarly article, or is not representative of your current research path, and so on. Read through the publications list and deselect any that you do not want to add to your profile.

If you do not have any publications, Google Scholar will present you with some options for publications that it thinks could belong to you. Unfortunately, in order to move forward with the process, you will have to accept one of these and then later remove it from your profile. Once you have a profile, you can manually add various types of sources, including those in an "Other" category, which could include posters, data, and other source types that Google does not automatically ingest.

When you're done, click "Next."


3. Confirm whether or not you want Google to automatically add new publications to your profile in the future. Note that this might add publications to your profile that you didn’t author, particularly if you’ve got a very common name, but it can be worth it for the time it saves your having to approve new articles every month. And, set your private profile to “Public.”

Google Scholar profile settings options as public or private

Your profile is complete!

What next?

  • Consider whether or not you want to add a photo by clicking the “Change Photo” link on your profile homepage.
  • Consider following yourself! In your profile, click on theFollow buttonbutton.This allows you to receive email alerts for any new publications associated with you, as well as new citations to your work. Economizing your work in this way can help you stay organized and up-to-date with your CV, in your other scholarly profiles, and as you develop your impact story.
  • Enhance your profile by adding co-authors: click “Edit” next to “Co-authors” on the right-hand side of your profile page. Adding co-authors is a good way to let others know you’re on Google Scholar, and allows others to follow you and your work.
  • If you haven't already, add a link to your Google Scholar profile in your ORCID profile!

That’s it! Now you’ve got a Google Scholar profile that helps you track when your work has been cited in both the peer-reviewed literature and elsewhere, and is yet another scholarly landing page that’ll connect others with your publications. The best part? Google Scholar’s pretty good at automatically adding new stuff to your profile, meaning you won’t have to do a lot of work to keep it up.

Already have a Google Scholar profile?

Take this opportunity to review your profile for accuracy, check for missing publications, and add nontraditional works (e.g., a poster, thesis, data set, conference talk, or patent). 

Of note:

The quality of Google Scholar citations has been questioned, because they’re different from what scholars have traditionally considered to be a citation worth counting: a citation in the peer-reviewed literature. Google Scholar counts citations from pretty much anywhere they can find them. That means their citation count often includes citations from books, conference papers, theses, slides, white papers and similar sources. Because of this, Google Scholar citation counts are much higher than those from competitors like Scopus and Web of ScienceThat can be a good thing. But, you can also argue it’s “inflating” citation counts unfairly. When using citation counts to measure impact, consider what your department and/or discipline values (from Google Scholar or elsewhere).

Preparing for the next challenge:
Congratulations! You've completed Day 2 of the Research Impact Challenge! Your Google Scholar profile is up and running, and you’ll receive email alerts every time Google Scholar finds a new publication or citation that it associates with you.

Do you have scholarly work that Google Scholar hasn’t yet indexed and connected to your profile? What about other kinds of work, like syllabi, instructional materials, or slide decks that you'd like to save and share with colleagues? One way to make your work more visible to Google Scholar and to others is to deposit it in an appropriate digital repository. Tomorrow’s challenge will show you how!

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