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Northern Illinois University
College of Law
David C. Shapiro Memorial Law Library

Increasing your Scholarly Impact (College of Law Faculty)

Creating a Google Scholar Profile

Setting up your Google account:

Important: you must have a Google account before you can create a Google Scholar profile.

  • If you have a Gmail address, you already have a Google account. You're all set. 
  • If you don't have a Google account and if you don't want to use Gmail, you can create a Google account using a different email address. You will want to use a personal (non-institutional) email address for your Google account so if you change jobs or retire, your Google account is not linked to an institutional-specific email address.
    • Go to and fill out the requested information. Click Next.
    • A confirmation email will be sent to the email address you entered in the signup form. Open the email and click on the verification link. Once your address is verified you can use it to log in to Google and set up your Google Scholar profile.


Creating your Google Scholar profile:

  • Log into your Google account.
  • Go to
  • In the upper left corner of the screen, click on My Profile.
  • Fill in your institutional affiliation and your institutional email (use your NIU email address, not a gmail or other address).
  • Fill in your research interests, separated by commas. This makes it easier for people who share your interests to find your profile.
  • Google Scholar will send you an email to your institutional email address to confirm it's a valid account. Confirm the email when you receive it.


Your Initial Publications List and Subsequent Updates

Your initial publications list:

Once your profile is set up, Google Scholar will attempt to identify publications it thinks are yours.If you have a common name or share a name with someone else in academia, chances are a lot of those publications will not be yours. In addition, you may not want non-scholarly materials or materials that no longer reflect your current research interests on your profile.

  • Review the list of publications and un-check the ones you do NOT want added to your profile. (Note: this does not have to be perfect on the first try; you can de-select additional publications later if you need to).
  • When finished, click the Add button.

Updating your subsequent publications:

Google Scholar will next ask you how you would like publication updates handled.

  • Recommended: Select "Don't automatically update my profile. Send me email to review and confirm updates." This will give you the chance to ensure Google Scholar is adding the correct publications to your profile.
  • If you change your mind about how your want updates handled, in the gray bar above your publications list click the [+] icon and select Configure article updates. Change your update options and click Update Settings.

Completing Your Google Scholar Profile

Make your profile public:

  • Your Google Scholar profile is initially created as a private profile.
  • To make it publicly viewable, click the Edit icon (pencil) next to your name, click in the box next to Make My Profile Public, and click Save.

Editing your research interests:

  • Keeping your research interests up to date makes it easier for people who share your interests to find you.
  • Click the Edit icon (pencil) next to your name.
  • In the Areas of interest box, enter (or edit) words or phrases describing your research interests, separated by commas. 
  • Click Save.

Add a link to your NIU faculty web page:

  • Go to your NIU faculty web page and copy the URL.
  • On your Google Scholar profile, click the Edit icon (pencil) next to your name, paste the URL into the Homepage box and click Save.

Add co-authors:

  • You can only add co-authors who already have a Google Scholar profile.
  • Go to the Co-Authors section of your page (lower right side) and click Edit.
  • Search for co-author's names in the search box. If you don't find them immediately, try searching variants of their names - their Google Scholar profile may not be under the same form of name that is listed on the publications you wrote with them.
  • When you find the correct person, click the plus sign next to their name to add them to your profile.

Add a photo (optional):

  • Click on the camera icon beneath the generic Scholar profile picture. This will open a window where you can browse for a photo to upload.

Adding, Deleting and Merging Publications

Adding publications manually:

It's possible Google Scholar didn't find all your publications. (Google Scholar doesn't index everything -- especially if your article only resides behind a vendor or publisher's paywalled site.) In addition, Google Scholar may not be able to find articles if the form of the author's name on the article varies from the name on your profile (John Smith, John R. Smith, J.R. Smith, etc.).

  • To add a publication, in the gray bar above your publications list, click the [+] icon and select Add article manually.
    • Note: even though the selection is labeled "add article," you can add citations to conference papers, book chapters, books, theses, patents, court cases, and other types of publications.
  • Fill in as many of the requested fields as possible, then click the blue checkmark in the upper right corner when finished.

Deleting publications manually:

  • If you need to remove a publication from your profile, click in the checkbox next to it then click Delete in the gray menu bar above your publications list.

Merging multiple versions of the same article:

  • Sometimes Google Scholar will find more than one version of the same article.
  • To fix this, select both versions of the article by checking the box next to each title.
  • Click Merge option from the gray menu bar above your publications list. You will then see both citations for the article listed.
  • Click Select next to the best citation to the article (you can edit it later if you wish). This will merge the two versions.

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