Author and institutional identifiers

Numerical and/or alphanumerical institutional and author identifiers serve to uniquely link and attribute publications to their authors and their institutions or research funding organisations. This ensures that research is attributed to the correct persons, scientific institutions or third-party funding projects. For example, the designation ‘X. Huang, FAU’ in publications is ambiguous in more than one way, as there are researchers with the same name at both Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and Florida Atlantic University.

The use of the following identifiers on publication forms, whenever they are supplied by the publisher or journal, is recommended. Please also note the recommendations for the standardised indication of affiliation in publications:

If you have any difficulties determining or registering for the identifiers relevant to you, please contact the information desks at the Main Library or branch libraries.

Unique author identification

The Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) is an unambiguous author identifier. It enables academic literature to be attributed to an individual person, regardless of how common the name is, name changes, special characters or changes of the affiliated institution. You can register for ORCID free of charge at

If desired, you can then enter the previous stops in your academic career in order to make your affiliation at any given time transparent. Additionally, older publications generally do not have to be entered manually, but can be imported, for example, to Scopus and Web of Science via interfaces. For this purpose, any existing identifiers such as the Scopus Author ID or the Thomson Reuters ResearcherID (for imports from Web of Science) can be used and stored in your ORCID profile.

However, it is primarily useful for future publications: many publishers allow authors to submit their ORCID identifier when publishing an article. The data sources DataCite and CrossRef should be authorised in your ORCID profile to enable profile updates. This allows your publication to be automatically added to your ORCID profile after it is released.

Use your personal ORCID on your profile on CRIS FAU (login with IDM user account), on your website, in your e-mail signature or when submitting applications. This makes it easier for others to search for your publications and increases the visibility of your research.

ORCID is increasingly being used as single sign-on authentication for various platforms and journals (including PLOS, Sciencematters and some research data repositories) which can save you the time and effort of creating individual accounts.

The choice of the ResearcherID in addition to or instead of ORCID should take into account the standard practices of your department for academic literature research and the desired level of visibility. The ResearcherID is an author identifier from Thomson Reuters and is accordingly integrated into the interdisciplinary literature and citation database Web of Science. You can register for a ResearcherID free of charge at

Web of Science, together with Scopus, is often used to calculate the h-index, an important bibliometric indicator. The h-index is calculated on the basis of the number of citations in the database, and incomplete or incorrect attribution of academic literature to its author leads to an incorrect value.

The Scopus Author ID cannot be registered by the author, but rather is automatically issued when an article is indexed in Scopus. In order to assign relevant documents to their author, Scopus compares the author’s name with affiliation, address, field, publication periods and co-authors. Of course the algorithm cannot work reliably if the metadata about the publication, in particular the affiliation, are incorrect or are not provided. In this context we once again refer you to the recommendations for the standardised indication of affiliation in publications:

If articles have incorrectly been attributed to you by the algorithm, you can independently request corrections. To do so, use the author search function on Scopus. If a search for your name and affiliation yields multiple results, select the ‘Request to merge authors’ function. Be sure to check the assigned documents beforehand in order to ensure that you do not mistakenly link your profile with anyone sharing your name. Within your title list, use the function ‘Request author detail corrections’ to request corrections. In the author feedback wizard, which should open automatically, the incorrectly attributed articles can be manually deselected.

The Integrated Authority File (GND) is primarily used for purposes of cataloguing and classifying media in libraries, archives, museums and related Internet applications (such as repositories).
The GND is also integrated into the formerly independent Name Authority File and the Corporate Bodies Authority File. Every person and every corporate body has its own unique GND number and name on record. A GND entry generally cannot be requested by an author, but is managed primarily by the German National Library (DNB) in co-operation with the participants in the German-speaking library associations and is continually expanded as new information resources are catalogued.

You can find your library name of record and GND number at Entering your GND number in your ORCID profile as an independent ID is currently not possible. Alternatively, it can be entered in your ORCID profile as an author website, e.g. GND 1043244379.

Corrections (e.g. false title attributions, updates to your personal information) can be submitted at In order to do this, add your GND number to the end of the URL, e.g.

The Google Scholar Citations Profile does not offer a traditional citable author identifier. However, creating a profile can still be worthwhile: especially for students and young researchers, Google and Google Scholar have a significance similar to the renowned interdisciplinary literature and citation databases. If you wish to increase your visibility here, a Google account is required and a profile must be requested:

You must enter your affiliation along with other information and potentially attributable articles are then shown and can be added to your profile.

The ISO-certified International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) is a unique numerical identifier for all persons and institutions involved in the academic and creative publication and communication process. In addition to natural persons, other legal entities, organisations and even fictitious persons (e.g. Nicolas Bourbaki) can receive an ISNI.

You can research your personal ISNI at Please take note of the following sections on special identifiers for institutions and research funding organisations.

Unique identification of institutions and research funding organisations

The Ringgold Identifier is a unique numerical identifier for all institutions involved in the academic publication process, which includes publishers as well as universities as producers of academic content and external funding providers as financers.

It allows for academic work to be attributed to an institution regardless of name variations, abbreviations, names in foreign languages or special characters.
Institutions and research funding organisations can be researched at

Ringgold Identifier

The Open Funder Registry provides comprehensive terminology of the names of numerous research funding organisations which are generally preferred and to be used in acknowledgements, as well as unique identifiers for them. The identifier is generally referred to as the Fundref Identifier.

Additional research funding organisations can be researched at

FUNDREF ID FAU: 10.13039/501100001652
FUNDREF ID UNIVERSITÄTSBUND: 10.13039/501100007947
FUNDREF ID DFG: 10.13039/501100001659

Please refer to the entry on the Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) under the section on author identification.
International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI)
ISNI FAU: 0000 0001 2107 3311
ISNI DFG: 0000 0001 2096 9829

The Global Research Identifier Database provides records and identifiers to academic institutions worldwide: A GRID ID is defined for each institution and linked to other IDs and records (for example, ISNI, Crossref, Wikipedia, Wikidata). In addition, the corresponding address is mentioned, often supplemented by geo-coordinates, institution type as well as name variants and acronyms of the affiliation. The dataset is open source.
Institutions and research funding organisations can be researched at
GRID Identifier
GRID ID FAU: grid.5330.5
GRID ID DFG: grid.424150.6

In contrast to other projects, the Research Organization Registry (ROR) is not operated commercially and currently provides primarily a freely accessible list of official affiliation names of scientific institutions and their associated identifiers (GRID, ISNI, Crossref Open Funder ID, Wikidata). The entries can be searched via the ROR homepage

Research Organization Registry (ROR)

Unique identification of digital objects

The author and institutional identifiers mentioned above support the unique identification of the holders of published data and publications. Distinct persistent identifiers exist for the permanent citability and accessibility of the data and publications. In addition to those mentioned below, other identifiers are available such as the so-called handle system or PURL (Persistent URL).

A uniform resource name (URN) is a unique, persistent and location-independent identifier for a digital object, which we refer to here as a resource. Location-independent means that a control level is activated when a hyperlink is accessed – the hyperlink of the URN does not refer directly to the file on the target server, but to its administration entry at the registration agency. If the storage location changes, for example due to changes to the server, this is also changed at the registration agency. This ensures that literature references with a URN can always be accessed successfully.

The University repository OPUS FAU uses the free URN of the German National Library, which acts as a registration agency. Publications therefore receive a URN from the ‘urn:nbn:de’ namespace. As an example, the FAU open access policy published on OPUS FAU has the persistent URN urn:nbn:de:bvb:29-opus4-68651, and the file itself is located on the server at

Equivalent to a URN, a digital object identifier (DOI) describes a unique persistent identifier for a digital object. Scientists are often more familiar with DOIs, as many publishers use DOIs for their articles, e-books and book chapters.  DOIs are also used for research data for referencing purposes. In contrast to the German National Library as a URN registration agency, DOI registration agencies often charge a fee for their services. However, DOIs offer some advantages compared with URNs. They enable bibliographic information about publications to be easily imported in a Citavi or Endnote project and to be included in the author’s ORCID author profile.

The FAU University Press has also been assigning DOIs in addition to the traditional international standard book numbers (ISBN) since November 2017 for all its publications.

Addition information