Why create and use UAIs
Simple publication search
Up until now, authors with common surnames have had to search for their publications among the work of their namesakes. UAIs eliminate this complication and allow clear identification of an author with no confusion.
Authors whose names may present issues in an international environment — particularly owing to diacritics — encounter a number of variants of their names in work they have authored. In databases, these variants may seem to refer to several people. UAIs allow these variants to be merged under a single reference.
Publishing in an international environment
Under Rector's Measure No. 28/2016, Charles University made the decision to join a number of universities worldwide where UAIs were in wide use. Other Czech universities followed suit. For instance, in 2016/2017, Czech Technical University in Prague and the University of West Bohemia began to use UAIs, as well.
The measure is designed to help authors create UAIs in advance. Foreign publishing houses require UAIs ever more frequently when articles are sent to their editors, and they are also necessary when communicating with foreign grant agencies. In the near future, no author who wishes to — and is obligated to — publish in foreign journals, will be able to get by without UAIs.
If authors publish under an established identifier (ORCID), new publications will be automatically included in their profile. In the future, then, these profiles should require practically no maintenance.
Rector's Measure No. 28/2016
In any event, Rector's Measure No. 28/2016 (http://www.cuni.cz/UK-7649.html — in czech language only) makes UAIs mandatory. It requires every academic and member of the teaching staff, every PhD student, and every publishing author to create unique identifiers that will serve to clearly them. UAIs are then available in WhoIS system.