ResearcherID is an identifying system for scientific authors. The system was introduced in January 2008 by Thomson Reuters.
This unique identifier aims at solving the problem of author identification. In scientific literature it is common to cite name, surname, and initials of the authors of an article. Sometimes, however, there are authors with the same name, with the same initials, or the journal misspells names, resulting in several spellings for the same authors, and different authors with the same spelling.
On the ResearcherID website, authors are asked to link their ResearcherID to their own articles. In this way, they can also keep their publication list up to date and online. A comprehensive view of an author's total output can thus be given, since not all publications are indexed by Web of Science. This is particularly important for researchers in fields that predominantly use peer-reviewed conference articles (computer science) or in fields that focus on publishing books and chapters in books (humanities and disciplines in the social sciences).
The combined use of the Digital Object Identifier with the ResearcherID allows a unique association of authors and scientific articles. It can be used to link researchers with registered trials or identify colleagues and collaborators in the same field of research.
ResearcherID has been criticized for being commercial and proprietary, but also praised as "an initiative addressing the common problem of author misidentification".
Thomson Reuters has enabled data exchange between its ResearcherID system and ORCID, and vice versa.