Two Types of Author Profiles: Auto-Generated or Opt-In

Author profiles are extremely useful vehicles for increasing the visibility and discoverability of your published work. Although it is more popular in the business world, many researchers now have LinkedIn profiles that they may use to push out information about their research and publications to their professional community.

However, there are also some more scholarly options that are worthy of investigation, as they may increase your chances of having your work discovered online by other researchers who may be interested in building on your research or in engaging with you in scholarly collaboration.

There are two types of author profiles: 1) auto-generated ones and 2) “opt-in” ones.

1) Auto-generated Author Profiles:

In the case of auto-generated Author Profiles, when the author publishes a new work, the database producer will automatically add the new citation record to the profile, without further author involvement needed. All profiles are available for viewing by searchers of the database and often include some research impact metrics. (Note: It is a good idea to periodically check your Scopus and Web of Science database profiles for accuracy as errors may negatively-impact the research impact metrics being reported on your Author Profile.)


  • Synapse (MSK Authored Works)
    Synapse is a database of citations to MSK-authored works (e.g., journal articles, meeting abstracts, book chapters, etc.) that includes some traditional research metrics and alternative metrics (embedded/sourced from a vendor called Dimensions).

  • Scopus Author Profiles
    Scopus Author Profiles include metrics (e.g. H-Index) that are generated via citation analysis of the contents of the Scopus database, which includes “Times Cited” data.

  • Web of Science Author Profiles
    Similar to Scopus Author Profiles, however, the new version of Web of Science will include additional details that may speak to an individual author’s research impact, for example, Author Position information (First or Last author, etc.).

2) Opt-In Author Profiles:

In the case of opt-in Author Profiles, the author can choose to register for an account with a particular service and create a profile. It is the author’s responsibility to add citations to the profile and to update it whenever they publish new works. The author can also decide to make the profile public or private (i.e., they are in control over who/what gets viewed).


    ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is an independent, not-for-profit, non-proprietary Author Profile resources that does not provide metrics, a reporting interface, or a collaboration portal, but they enable other organizations to provide these services. Many journal publishers and database providers have started integrating ORCID links/info into their products. For example, the ORCID symbol is often included as a hyperlink (on HTML and PDF of articles) that leads to that author’s ORCID profile, allowing readers of this paper to immediately discover other works by that author.

  • Publons (via Web of Science)
    The source of research impact metrics data in this resource is its sister product, Web of Science. A unique feature of Publons is that it allows authors to get verified credit for their participation in the peer-review process.

  • Google Scholar
    Google Scholar’s greatest advantage is that it is free and not behind a paywall, as are Scopus and Web of Science.


Since your ORCID profile is “opt-in”, it is not automatically updated with your new works. Recognizing that keeping opt-in Author Profiles up-to-date can be time-consuming, the MSK Library has created an app that makes it easy to push items from your “auto-generated” Synapse profile to your “opt-in” ORCID profile. You can use the ORCID@MSK app to connect your Synapse profile to your ORCID profile. Since Synapse is automatically updated, you can periodically login to ORCID@MSK and pass on the new items added to Synapse to your ORCID profile so that it also stays up-to-date.

Be sure to check out the MSK Library‘s training class on Measuring Research Impact or to Ask Us if you have any questions about Author Profiles.