Thomson's own unique identifiers
It seems that everyone is trying to address this problem with authors' surnames at the moment. Thomson have a scheme where authors can register for a unique identifier, but the potential problem with this is that Thomson are just one publisher of many. So whilst the number will no doubt be unique, it won't necessarily be universally used by all repositories and publishers of online content.
The blurb says that "When you register on ResearcherID.com, you create and manage your own publication list." Which sounds very much like Warwick's own My Profile (formerly known as Expertise) and also like what we're trying to do with the repository, and indeed what authors are trying to do with their own web pages. It also looks a bit like it could become a social networking tool for academics. It does seem to have advantages for the author, and maybe authors will find it useful to use more than one online method for telling the world about what they have published where. It would be easier for the author if there were a universal unique identifier that could help us all to share information about the author in a more automated way, though, thus sparing the author the time and effort of maintaining so many profiles and pages of information.