Q: My name is cited with different spellings in the literature. What can I do?

Detailed Question -

How would you advise me to deal with my name which contains the letter "ö"? As the "ö" is not known in English it is sometimes changed to "oe" or just "o" when other authors cite my work. It can therefore sometimes not be linked to my work (e.g. in Google Scholar). Should I therefore rather spell it with "oe" right from the beginning so that at least in the future the form will always be the same?

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Answer:
Thank you for your question. I suggest that you register for a unique author identifier through ORCID. ORCID is a must for every author because it specifically resolves issues in author identification similar to the one you mention. To understand exactly how ORCID takes care of the name misspelling issue, we consulted ORCID Executive Director, Dr. Laurel Haak, and this is what she had to say:
 
This is a perfect example of why a persistent identifier is needed for authors. You can register for ORCID, list your name variations (with the ö, oe, and o), and then link to your existing publications using the Scopus and/or PubMedCentral and/or ResearcherID search and link wizards. These wizards not only push metadata to ORCID but also consume the ORCID and post it in your respective databases. This means a person searching Web of Science, PubmedEurope, or Scopus will get an accurate result, regardless of how the author name was expressed on the publication.  (Note that the ORCID registry is a free resource for researchers and scholars. There is no fee to register for, link, or use an ORCID identifier.)
 
As an author, you should also use ORCID as you submit new publications to ensure that your work is appropriately sorted in the various databases. The publisher will include the ORCID identifier in the paper metadata (title/author list/date/journal/etc.) that is sent to CrossRef and other indexers, so that moving forward, differences in spelling or missing umlauts are a non-issue.
 
Here is a link to an ORCID blog post that describes in more detail how to add name variants and link to data, publications, and affiliations: https://orcid.org/blog/2013/12/05/i-claimed-my-orcid-id-now-what. Note that we have just updated the user interface to make this a lot easier to do. 
 
Here is another blog post, from ImpactStory, with more about ORCID: https://orcid.org/blog/2014/04/29/tenthingsyouneedtoknow
 
For more information about ORCID's impact in having reached out to more than 11 million active researchers and scholars in the world, see our interview with Dr. Haak.