Research Impact Challenge

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

Day 2: Claim your Google Scholar Profile

Welcome to Day 2 of the University Libraries Research Impact Challenge!

Today's challenge is to make the most of Google Scholar by claiming your profile. 

If you have ever searched for scholarly literature on the web, you have almost certainly encountered Google Scholar. But did you know that this tool can also be used to keep track of your own publications (and publications that cite your work)?

Here is how to do it:

1. Go to If you are not already signed in, click Sign in in the upper right corner using your UMN credentials.

2. Click on My profile in the upper left hand corner to get started. Be sure to complete your name, affiliation, and email address at this time. We recommend that you use your University of Minnesota email address. Later, check your email to complete the verification process. This will authorize Google Scholar to display your affiliation with the University of Minnesota as “verified.”

3. 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.

4. Now you will be given two decisions to make

  • 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.

5. Click Follow in the upper right hand corner of your profile page to receive email alerts for any new publications associated with you, as well as new citations of your work. (Tip: you can “follow” new publications and new citations for any researcher with a public Google Scholar profile, not just yourself)

What next?

  • Consider whether you want to add a picture to your profile
  • Enhance your profile by adding co-authors: click Edit next to Co-authors on the right hand side of your profile page.
  • Use Alerts to create email alerts for new publications that match any search terms you choose. For more information on setting up alerts see below

Learn more: 

Preparing for the next challenge:

Congratulations! You've completed Day 2 of the Research Impact Challenge! Your Google Scholar profile is now set up, ready to add your new publications as they appear on the web, and you’ll receive email alerts every time Google Scholar finds a new publication or citation that it associates with you. 

Do you have scholarly work that Google Scholar hasn’t yet indexed and connected to your profile? What about other kinds of work, like syllabi, instructional materials, or slide decks that you'd like to save and share with colleagues? One way to make your work more visible to Google Scholar and to others is to deposit it in an appropriate digital repository. Tomorrow’s challenge will show you how!

This material has been adapted from the University of Michigan research impact challenge LibGuide created by Rebecca Welzenback, January 15 2019 and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 

Alerts and Feeds

Alerts and feeds provide an automated way to stay current on what's new in an area you care about.


Alerts are sent from publishers and indexes/databases. Common alerts are table of contents, search alerts, citation alerts and new publication alerts.

Table of contents alerts

You subscribe to a journal's table of contents so it's sent to you when a new issue comes out. Most publishers will provide this service for free (so a library subscription to the publication is not needed, but often requires registration to the publisher's site and may charge a fee.

To determine if you have access to the journal through the University Libraries' you will need to search the e-journals.

Database alerts

Most databases have an alert feature. This feature allows you to set up a feed based on a search so that articles that fit the search criteria are sent to you when they are added to a database. An alert runs a saved search automatically every few days or weeks. If new items are found, you receive an email listing the results.

To find out how to set up an alert in a database, perform a search and look for the word Alert on the screen. If you don't see it listed with the results, look for a way to save the search. Once a search is saved, you may see an option to set an alert for it.

News aggregators

News aggregators, also called feed aggregators or RSS readers, are a great and easy way to stay informed by retrieving the latest content from publishers and other web sites. Instead of going to many websites to look for new content, you can set up a news aggregator to receive all the content in one place. There are many aggregators available.

Need help with alerts and feeds? 

Your subject librarian/department liaison can assist you in setting up alerts and advise you on other ways you can stay up-to-date on research in your field. 

Last Updated: Nov 22, 2021 1:40 PM