16 October 2014

When your name changes

People change their names for all sorts of reasons. Marriage is only one. What can you do to make sure people can find your scientific papers if you change your name?

When you’re talking about your own CV or website, the task is trivial. All it takes is a note mentioning the name change.

The problem is that many people look for papers through search engines: Google Scholar, Web of Science, PubMed, and so on. If they only know you by one name, they will not find papers you authored under the other name.

This is not something that you, as the author, can solve, as far as I can tell. A stopgap is to create as many profiles about your research as you can, so that if someone finds your research on through your own website or similar, they are more likely to see the complete list of papers.

It should not be your problem to solve. This should be a problem for the search engine services to solve. It seems that if there was widespread adoption of ORCID, there is a shot at making this a non-issue.

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