On various occasions researchers (sometimes including students) are asked to create an account on various platforms and networks. The natural response is “one more? What’s the point?”. We discuss below some possible answers, as applicable in Romania. For any of the below, we note at the outset: opening an account takes a few minutes at most, is free, and generally requires no further attention – beyond approving updates from time to time as per acceptance of the account holder.

  1. Institutional email account – the one provided by the university/institute (e.g., BBU). This is the first one that counts. It should be used wherever you have science/science-related interactions. When you request something from the dean’s office, when you register for a conference, when you register on a professional website – use the email that shows where you are coming from. It is an element of unreliability, viewed negatively, to use private addresses in such contexts. On the contrary, use a different email when you subscribe to electricity, gas, etc.
  2. ResearcherID: this account comes from the ISI database – now known as WoS (Web of Science, commercial company Clarivate) and coupled more recently with the Publons platform. The ISI/WoS platform is the first and best-known database of scientific articles (from which all the major databases of today have been inspired, see below) and the ResearcherID account allows you to keep track (and have that track easily found by others) for papers you have published, and which are indexed in WoS. Indexing in WoS is less common in Arts and Humanities, but the ResearcherID account has long been used as a requirement in various internal (at BBU) or national (e.g., when submitting grant applications) review procedures. Relatively recently, ResearcherID has been enriched by linking with the Publons platform. Publons keeps track of the articles and grants for which you have served as reviewers/evaluators (obviously, it does this while maintaining anonymity – so it doesn’t mark exactly which grant/manuscript you’ve reviewed, just the journal/agency for which you’ve done so) – collecting the information automatically from publishers (where the publisher has an agreement with Publons) or from you directly (where you wish). What’s it for? Few researchers in Romania have ever gone through a project proposal submission or professional institutional evaluation without “earning points” as a benefit of their work as a reviewer Furthermore, the ResearcherID account can be connected to the EndNote platform for managing scientific references.
  3. Scopus: is very similar in principle to the ResearcherID account, just as the Scopus database is very similar in essence to WoS. The Scopus and WoS platforms are in constant competition as the two main databases for scientific literature – and each offers complex related services. Among those services, in the case of Scopus is the Mendeley platform, which allows you to search the scientific literature for free (whereas Scopus and WoS themselves are accessible only by subscription) and, importantly, to save and manage those references in Word (you download a Word extension and manage the references in any document with it). One more argument for using a Mendeley account: some international rankings of universities or researchers consider, among other things, the extent to which articles are used in Mendeley.
  4. ANELIS+: Association of Romanian Universities, Research and Development Institutes and Central University Libraries – ANELIS PLUS (which includes BBU) offers access to researchers, including students, affiliated with Romanian research institutions, not only on campus, but also, after registration on the website, from any other location.
  5. Google Scholar: Google Scholar is emerging as a free access competitor to WoS and Scopus. It is much less selective in what it indexes – which means among other things that it indexes much more efficiently in areas such as Arts and Humanities, which WoS and Scopus still lag in coverage. That’s why the Google Scholar personal profile is much more generally accepted across all fields of science, compared to the ResearcherID or Scopus profiles. The Google Scholar profile is often required for internal (i.e., BBU) or national evaluation processes. In fact, often in Romania the triad: ResearcherID, Scopus and Google Scholar are required for evaluation. Also important: some international rankings of universities or researchers use data based on individual Google Scholar accounts.
  6. ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID): is an individual digital identifier of science authors. Some of the other profiles (e.g., ResearcherID/Publons) make use of the ORCID profile. Furthermore, when you submit manuscripts for publication, quite a few journals ask about this profile. It is not mandatory, but it is very useful. For example, when filling in the Publons profile, or registering on the website of a journal where you want to submit a manuscript, you can shorten the time to fill in the data by simply importing from ORCID.
  7. Brainmap: is a platform developed by the Romanian authorities as a database of Romanian researchers. In various national assessments, the Brainmap profile is among the information requested.
  8. ResearchGate: is a free platform that automatically indexes an author’s publications and builds various metrics and rankings. Here you can store files of published articles and share them very easily in private on demand with other researchers. In this way, an increase in the visibility/accessibility of published articles can be ensured. In addition, ResearchGate allows the aggregation of research groups or departmental profiles.
  9. Domain-specific platforms: e.g., Social Science Research Network (SSRN), built around the social sciences.
  10. Mainstream social networks: the existence of a personal or institutional Facebook, Twitter/X, LinkedIn or other account is not required by any of the institutions in Romania. However, it is worth noting that several international rankings quantify the popularity of universities on one or more social networks. Those rankings measure both common popularity elements (e.g., number of followers of the institution’s account) as well as some directly related to scientific publications – for example how many times a scientific article by authors from a particular university has been shared directly from the journal page, with full meta-data. Many institutions but also successful research groups maintain active pages on social networks – either to communicate within the network of specialists or to reach a wider community more easily.