Impact Challenge 1

This is the first our 2018 Open Access Week Impact Challenge series. In each post, we’ll walk you through some practical steps to help you claim your scholarly work, connect with your communities (research and practice) online, gather evidence of engagement and using it to tell your story for career advancement.


Create a Google Scholar profile

Google Scholar is a popular way to showcase your papers and the citations they’ve received. Google Scholar also calculates a platform-dependent h-index, if that is a metric your department uses.


In today’s challenge, we’re going to get you onto Google Scholar, so you can up your scholarly SEO (aka “googleability”), more easily share your publications with new readers, and discover new citations to your work.


Step 1: Create your basic profile

Log on to and click the “My Citations” link at the top of the page to get your account setup started.


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 university homepage, if you have one.


Click “Next Step,” and--that’s it! Your basic profile is done. Now, let’s add some publications to it.


Step 2: Add publications

Google has likely already been indexing your work for some time now as part of their mission as a scholarly search engine.


Google Scholar will provide you with a list of publications they think belong to you. You’ll need to read through the list of publications that it suggests as yours and select which ones you want to add to your profile.


Beware--if you have a common name, it’s likely there’s some publications in this list that don’t belong to you. (Our next challenge will help with that!)  


Read through the publications list and deselect any that you do not want to add to your profile (like the below newsletter item that Google Scholar thinks is a scholarly article). Then click the grey “Add” button at the top of your profile.


Next, confirm you want Google to automatically add new publications to your profile in the future. If you’ve got a very common name, note that this might add publications you didn’t author to your profile. But if you’re a prolific author, it can be worth it for the time it saves you approving new articles every month.


Your profile is now almost complete! Two more steps: add a photo by clicking the “Change Photo” link on your profile homepage and set your private profile to “Public.”


Step 3: Make your profile public

Your profile is private if you’ve just created it. Change your profile visibility by clicking “Edit” next to “My profile is private” and then selecting “My profile is public” in the drop-down box.


Bonus: Add co-authors

While your profile is technically complete, you’ll want to take advantage of Google Scholar’s built-in co-authorship network. Adding co-authors is a good way to let others know you’re now on Google Scholar, and will be useful later on in the Challenge, when we set up automatic alerts that can help you stay on top of new research in your field.


To add a suggested co-author, find the “Add Co-authors” section on the top right-hand section of your profile, and then click the plus-sign next to each co-author you want to add.


That’s it! Now you’ve got a Google Scholar profile that helps you track when your work has been cited and is another landing page that will help others find your publications. Google Scholar is 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.


No tool is perfect, so you should be aware of the key limitations of Google Scholar:

  • Dirty data in the form of incorrect or redundant publications
  • Irrelevant citations from potentially sources like online undergraduate papers, non-academic presentations, white papers and similar sources.
  • Google Scholar is somewhat of an information silo. You cannot export your citation data, meaning that even if you were to amass very impressive citation statistics on the platform, the only way to get them onto your website, CV, or an annual report is to copy and paste them--way too much work for the result.
  • There’s no telling if Google Scholar will be around tomorrow. Remember Google Reader? Google has a history of killing beloved products when the bottom line is in question. It’s not exaggerating to say that Google Scholar Profiles could literally go away at any moment.


Want more tips for maintaining your Google Scholar profile? Check out Stacy Konkiel’s 30-Day Impact Challenge guidance, from which we adapted this challenge.

Blog Categories: 
Digital Scholarship Blogs
Open Access
Scholarly Communication
Updated Oct 19, 2018 by hcoates