Scholarly Impact Challenge

This guide contains 10 challenges for scholars to better understand and manage their online scholarly presence, as well as the impact and reach of their research.

Introduction to Claiming Your Google Scholar Profile

Google Scholar logo

Google Scholar logo


In this 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.

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 metrics (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.

Step 1: Create Your Basic Profile

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

On the first screen, add your affiliation information and EMU email address, so Google Scholar can confirm your account. Later, check your EMU email to complete the verification process. This will authorize Google Scholar to display your affiliation with Eastern Michigan University as “verified.”

Add keywords that are relevant to your research interests, so others can find you when browsing a subject area. Provide a link to your EMU faculty or lab  homepage, if you have one.

If there are others who share your name, their articles may show up as yours at this point. Don’t despair! Go ahead and add those articles, even though they’re not yours. You will then have a chance to delete them in the next step (and as part of this week’s homework).

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

Step 2: Add Publications



Next you’ll be presented with a list of publications that Google Scholar thinks were written by you. Some may be yours, and some may not be, especially if you have a common name. If you are a prolific researcher, or if you have a very common name, there may be many publications to review the first time you set up your profile.

If there are publications that don’t belong to you, click the check box beside each and then click Delete. This will remove the record for that item from your profile.

If Google has identified multiple records that are really referring to the same work, you can click the checkbox next to all records that refer to the same work and click Merge.

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.

When you're done, click Next.

Your profile is now almost complete!

Step 3: Final Decisions

Do you want Google Scholar to automatically add your publications to your profile as it finds them (without you having to do anything), or do you want it to send you an email with publications to review before they appear on your profile? This is up to you, and you can change it later if you wish.

Do you want your profile to be public? If you check the box to make it public, you’ll be more “Googleable” by others. If you have a long list of publications to review (from step 3) and haven’t gone through them all yet, you may wish to set your profile to private until you’re confident that the work represented on it is all truly yours, and then switch it to public. You can always change your profile from private to public and vice versa.

That’s it! Now you’ve got a Google Scholar profile that helps you track when your work has been cited both in the peer-reviewed literature and is another scholarly landing page that will 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.

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).


There are several activities with this challenge. If you can't get to them all right away, we recommend coming back to them when you can.

Activity #1 : 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).

Activity 2: Add your photo.

Activity 3 :  Add missing items. You might have an article or two that Google Scholar didn’t automatically add to your profile. If that’s the case, you’ll need to add it manually.

  • Click the “+” button in the grey toolbar above your listed articles.
    Add titles toolbar

  • Select “Add articles manually” from the dropdown menu. Then you should see this screen.Add articles manually form

It’s here where you can add new papers to your profile. Include as much descriptive information as possible – it makes it easier for Google Scholar to find citations to your work. Click “Save (the blue check mark at the top right of the window)” after you’ve finished adding your article metadata, and repeat as necessary until all of your publications are on Google Scholar.

Activity 4: Sign up for alerts so you know when Google Scholar adds a new publication to your profile.

 Here’s how to sign up for alerts:

  • Click the blue “Follow” button at the top of your profile

  • Select “New articles in my profile”

  • Enter the email address where you want these alerts sent

  • Click “DONE.”

Activity 5: Learn how to export your publications list in BibTeX format.

There will likely be a time when you’ll want to export your Google Scholar publications to another service. If you already have accounts with other services, here’s how to export in BibTeX format.

  • Tick the box next to each article whose details you want to export. (If you want to export all your articles, tick the box to the left of TITLE in the gray bar above the list of your works.) Click the "Export" button, and then choose BibTeX to export your file. You will get a browser window with your citations in BibTeX format, which you can then “Save as…” or copy/paste to a text editor and save.

  • Using the same instructions above, you can also download your citations as a .csv file or for EndNote. These files download directly to your computer.



Content for this challenge of the Scholarly Impact Challenge has been derived from the University of Michigan's Research Impact Challenge and the University of Minnesota's Research Impact Challenge. Both challenges are licensed CC BY 4.0.