A common problem in databases is identifying publications by a particular author, especially if that author has a common surname. This can mean that highly cited papers can be incorrectly assigned to the wrong individuals in analysis returns. To combat this problem, Thomson Reuters, who produce the Web of Science databases, have set up a system whereby a unique personal identifier can be ascribed to individuals. A researcher is given a unique ID and "claims" their own publications listed in the Web of Science databases. This means that all their publications can be linked to the correct author regardless of any variations in the use of their name and regardless of their affiliation when the paper was published.
If you have published research papers you are advised to sign up to this to ensure that your research can be identified accurately and as strongly as possible. Registration is simple, visit http://www.researcherid.com/ and follow the simple instructions.