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Searching the Title FieldBook IndexSearching the Author Identifiers Field

Searching the Author Field

Enter the last name of the author first followed by a space and at least one initial. Web of Science automatically adds the asterisk (*) wildcard when you enter only one initial. So, entering Johnson M is the same as entering Johnson M*.

Use upper, lower, or mixed case. For example, CRICK, Crick, or crick finds the same results.

Initials may or may not be followed by periods.

Some initials may contain a period (for example, Johnson M. S.) while others do not (for example, Johnson MS). We have purposely omitted the punctuation in our search examples.

You may see two versions of a name in records of articles published in 2006 and later. One is the last name followed by initials. The other in parentheses is the full name.

Author Search Examples

Names are captured exactly as they appear in the source publication. However, an author's name may be published with full first name or with initials only. You should search for names by using various forms of the name. For example:

Wildcards and Names

Use wilcards to find different spellings of a name.

You must enter at least two characters before the wildcard when searching a last name: For example: Mc*

Wildcards and Initials

You can enter a wildcard after each initial in an author's name or after the last initial. For example, Johnson M*S* finds records of articles by the following authors.

In this instance, Web of Science finds any characters between the M and S characters (Melissa).

A search for Johnson MS* may return fewer results (or the same number of results) than a search on Johnson M*S*.

A search for Johnson M* S* returns fewer results than Johnson M*S* or Johnson MS* because of the space between the initials and the wildcards.

Web of Science automatically adds the asterisk (*) wildcard when you enter only one initial. So, entering Johnson M is the same as entering Johnson M*.

Note: You must enter at least two characters before a wildcard when searching a last name: For example: sm*

Search Operators and Author Searches

Separate two or more names by the AND, OR, or NOT search operators. Last names containing a space should be searched with and without the space to ensure that all relevant records are returned. For example:

To search for a name that is also a search operator (AND, OR, NOT, NEAR, and SAME), enclose the name in quotation marks. For example:

Asian Names

Asian names appear in the database exactly as they do in the source document. The name Zhuang Jun may appear in the database as:

Hyphens, Apostrophes and Particles

Hyphens (-) and apostrophes ( ' ) are treated as spaces. O'Brien is the same as O Brien. Rivas-Martinez is the same as Rivas Martinez.

To be comprehensive, search for variants of a name with and without the space:

Search for names beginning with a particle with and without the space:

Note: Last names in records processed before 1998 do not contain hyphens, apostrophes or spaces. To effectively search multiple years of data, enter surnames that take into account all possible variations of the name.

Anonymous Authors

To search for anonymous authors, enter anonymous in the Author field.

The term Anonymous will appear in the Author(s) field on the Results and Full Record pages.

Author Names 1964-1975

In records of articles added to the database between 1964 and 1975, you may see that surnames containing more than eight characters have been truncated. For example, the name Wilkinson, PN appears as WILKINSO.PN

A search by the full surname of the author should retrieve records containing truncated names. For example,  Wilkinson PN will find records containing the author name WILKINSO.PN.

Author Index

This index allows you to select one or more authors to add to your search query. Use this index to find the correct spelling as well as variant spellings of the same name.

Move To Option

  1. Enter a name or the first few characters of a name in the Move To box. You do not need to use a wildcard. The text Kell will take you to the same section of the index as the text Kell*

If you add a wildcard, you must enter at least two characters before the wildcard. For example: Mc*

  1. Click the Move To button to go to a list of names that begin with the characters you entered.

  2. Click the Add button to add a name to your search. You may select multiple names. Multiple names are joined by the OR operator.

  3. Click OK to transfer the selected name(s) to the search box on the Basic Search or Advanced Search page.

Browse Option

Click a letter (A-Z) to browse through a list of items alphabetically. This feature is useful if you do not know the correct spelling of an item.

Timespan and Author Names

The selected timespan appears in the right-hand corner of the page. The index contains all author names from records in this timespan. The number in the Records column is the number of records in the timespan that contain the author name. If you change the timespan, this number may change.

If a name you expect to see does not appear, check the Timespan indicated in the top right-hand corner. You may have selected a timespan shorter than all years provided by your subscription.

Subscription Information

Be aware that we limit the display of author names based on the depth of years in your institution's product subscription. For example, if your subscription depth is 10 years, then we only display those authors who have published articles within this 10-year period.

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Searching the Title FieldSearching the Author Identifiers Field