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Searching for Publications by Author Name

Provides guidance on searching databases for publications by author name.

Author Information to Gather

  • First name
  • Middle initial(s), if applicable.
  • Last name
  • Affiliations, past and present
  • Research area(s)

Limiting the Search

Using the broadest and least limiting search terms when searching for the publication of an author is best, because you will not inadvertently exclude some of the publications you are looking for.

  • Start with the most basic search (Last name and First Initial).
  • Limit by:
    • Middle Initial
    • Full name (first and middle initial): Full name is more commonly represented in many databases
    • Affiliation
  • Useful strategies for distinguishing researchers:
    • Research area: not typically a searchable field in databases, but can be determined from publication title and topic, and is helpful in distinguishing a researcher
    • Co-authors: researchers often publish with researchers in their department or the same group of researchers, which can help in distinguishing a researcher

Understanding your Researchers

Consider the research area for the author. If the author is primarily a biomedical researcher, a search in PubMed may provide you with a comprehensive list of their publications. If the authors primary field of research is in another field other than biomedical, consider using Scops and/or Web of Science to conduct your primary search.

If a researcher has worked at several institutions or companies recently, or if you are unsure of the affiliation for a researcher, consider using LinkedIn or a department webpage to determine current or past affiliations.