Giving credit to the right Dr. Wong: Seeking a unique ID for scientists

May 26, 2010

Which D. K. Wong gets credit for the next miracle cure? Is it Daniel Keith Wong, Danny Karl Wong, or Danellia Kay Wong? Scientists and publishers are trying to develop a new identity system — similar to a social security number — that would eliminate the alphabet soup of uncertainty that exists among authors of scientific papers with easily-confused names. That's the topic of an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine.

C&EN Senior Editor Sophie Rovner notes that rightly want credit for their research discoveries without being confused with individuals with the same name or initials. However, there's no universal system for attributing research discoveries to the correct scientist among many with the same name. As a result, researchers, , and scientific and government organizations are seeking a "unique author identifier."

One possible approach to such unique identifiers involves setting up a central registry where every scientist could obtain an ID upon publication of their first paper and use it throughout a lifetime of publishing papers, applying for grants, and conducting other scientific business. The article describes a number of such projects currently being developed.

Explore further: Researchers band together in global battle on bacterial biofilms

More information: "A Question of Identity", Chemical & Engineering News,

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not rated yet May 30, 2010
Who ever, on earth, defined a scientist as one who has published a paper? Just where did that lil concept come from? Do they mean that some dedicated Doctorate person, working a lifetime gathering data but for one reason or another not publishing them is to be ostracized from the 'new scientific community'? This seems outrageously unfair.

I, for example, did work in a cancer research lab during my doctorate studies. Who would like to step forward and characterize what i did as 'not scientific' ? What laboratories are staffed by many many Doctorates who, by their sheer numbers , can not all be listed as authors even though they did perform some quantity of contribution to the lab's goals?

This sort of myopic thinking at first blush might seem like a good idea. Upon reflection, it has its faults!
1 / 5 (1) May 30, 2010
I'm curious, who will get the number one? Mr. Einstein, Newton or Aristotle?

Anyway, scientists are payed like any other people per time or (less frequently) per publication and they're getting money for it.

Why they should get some extra credit for it? There are many inventors and engineers, which developed things, which are used daily without any science or even publications behind it.

Anyway, it's another indicia, science is changing into sectarian community, i.e. island of communism sponsored from mandatory fees of the rest of society, be more specific. The numbering of people is well known attribute of many sects.

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