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In previous topics, we looked at how to obtain an ORCID, how to claim your publications and explored a selection of tools to help you build your research profile in the online scholarly environment. Now, find out how to protect your research identity - an important skill for navigating today's scholarly communications and publishing environment.

You've worked hard to establish and build your reputation through conferences, collaborative partnerships and networking, publishing in best-fit scholarly journals and demonstrating your research impact. What happens when your reputation and research identity come under fire?

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Sadly, some publishers will publish a journal article without you having signed an agreement, or with you having signed an agreement but then changed your mind. If this happens to you, contact your library or legal department for assistance. It is important that your publications are with reputable publishers and journals. Your career may be affected by your record of publication.

The most important steps are to:

  • Immediately write to the publisher/editor withdrawing permission to publish, or clarifying that you did not sign an agreement
  • Do not pay any invoice from the publisher
  • Insist that the article is withdrawn from publication (particularly if it is on a website)
  • Follow up – unfortunately it often takes many emails over many months to be successful
  • Let your colleagues know that this has happened
  • Seek advice from your library and legal staff.

You should check to ensure that the publication is not listed in services such as Scopus and Web of Science, or on your research profile pages.

For additional information on publication ethics refer to the COPE website - you will find sample letters.

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It is important to ensure that publications associated with you are genuinely ones that you have contributed to. If your name is listed on a publication erroneously, you should take immediate action to have your name removed in order to protect you research career and reputation. If you find a publication that lists you erroneously take action as soon as possible.

How can you find out which publications list you as an author? Searching will be easier if you have an ORCiD.

Some good places to start are:

The most important steps are to:
  • Write to the main author, publisher and/or editor immediately stating that you should not be listed as an author
  • Insist that your name is withdrawn from the publication (particularly if it is on a website)
  • Follow up – unfortunately it may take some time to be successful
  • Let your colleagues know that this has happened
  • Seek advice from your library and legal staff.

For additional information refer to the COPE website - you will find sample letters.

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As a researcher, your writing and research should be credited to you and the team you worked with on any project. It is important to protect your intellectual property and research career. Unfortunately, your work may be used by others and not credited to you.

If you find a publication, conference paper or other research output that claims your work as someone else’s, do not despair. Take advice and then take action. Your research support staff and legal department should be able to provide advice.

The most important steps are to:

  • Identify clearly where you or your team published or recorded the ideas or work – remember that the expression of ideas only is protected under copyright legislation
  • Write to the main author, publisher and/or editor identifying the reuse of your or your teams work without proper credit
  • Follow up – unfortunately it may take some time to achieve proper acknowledgement
  • Let your colleagues know that this has happened
  • Seek advice from your research and legal staff.

For additional information refer to the COPE website - you will find sample letters.

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Congratulations! You have worked through each of the topics in this module.

You’ve invested your time and grown your understanding of how to establish, build and protect your research identity in the online environment. You can now tell your friends that you’re on the path to making your mark in the scholarly publishing world!

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