Searching the Author Field

Enter author names to search the following fields within a record.

  • Author(s)
  • Book Author(s)
  • Book Group Author(s)
  • Group Author(s)


Enter the last name first followed by a space and the author's initials.

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

Enter a wildcard after each initial in an author's name. For example, Johnson M*S* is a valid search query.

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


Guidelines for Searching Names


Use upper, lower, or mixed case. For example, Lee (or lee) is the same as LEE.


Author Names

Even though the product captures names exactly as they appear in the source publication, you should search for names by using various forms of the name. For example:

  • Johnson finds Johnson A, Johnson JL, and Johnson JMB.

  • Johnson M finds Johnson M, Johnson MJ, and Johnson Matthew S.

    Remember, the system automatically adds a wildcard (*) if you enter only one initial after the last name.

  • Johnson MS* finds Johnson MS and Johnson MSB.

  • Johnson Paul finds Johnson Paul and Johnson Paul V.

  • "Johnson M" finds only Johnson M because the quotation marks restrict the author search.



  • Some initials may contain a period (for example, Johnson M. S.) while others do not (for example, Johnson M S). 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.


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 by the following authors.

  • Johnson, MS
  • Johnson, Melissa
  • Johnson, Marjorie Seddon
  • Johnson, Markes E
  • And so on

In this instance, the search engine finds any characters between the M and S characters (Melissa) because a wildcard is used after the M and S characters.

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

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


Boolean Search Operators

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:

  • Herlert A* AND Vogel M* finds records of articles authored by both people.

  • Herlert A* OR Vogel M* finds records of articles authored by either person or by both.

  • Herlert A* NOT Vogel M* finds records of articles in which Herlert A appears but not Vogel M.

  • De Marco* OR DeMarco* finds both variations of the name (they could be the same author).

  • Van Hecke T* OR Vanhecke T* finds both variations of the name (they could be the same author).


Hyphens and Apostrophes

Include hyphens (-) and apostrophes ( ' ) when searching for names containing those marks or replace them with spaces. You will also retrieve variants. For example:

  • Rivas-Martinez S* OR Rivas Martinez S* matches both variations of the name.

  • O'Brien OR O Brien matches both variations of the name.

In most name searches, the product returns the same number of records whether you enter a space, a hyphen ( - ), or an apostrophe ( ' ).

A search on the name OBrien may return a different set of results than O'Brien and O Brien. It is advisable that you do not remove the hyphen, the apostrophe, or the space in names that contain these marks.

Note: Beginning with 1998 data, non-alphanumeric characters (for example, the apostrophe in O'Brian) and spaces in surnames (for example, de la Rosa) are preserved in surnames. To effectively search across multiple years, enter surnames that take into account all possible variations of the name.



Search for surnames containing particles with and without a space after the particle to find variants of the name and to increase the number of results that the product returns. For example: de Bruyn A OR deBruyn A


Diacritical Marks

Diacritical marks in an author's name are not searchable. For example, a search on the name Schröder returns an error message.

The name Schröder may appear in the database as Schroder or Schroeder. Search for both variants. Example: Schroder OR Schroeder


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:

  • Zhuang Jun
  • Zhuang-Jun
  • Fan Zhuang-jun


Searching for Authors Using Analyze Results

To narrow your search to authors (or inventors) of specific types of published papers (for example, nature articles), use the Analyze Results function.

  1. From the Results page, click the Analyze Results link.

  2. From the Analyze Results page, rank the records by the Source Title field.

  3. Select records to view or select records to exclude.

  4. Go to the Results page to analyze your results.


About Author / Editor Search Examples

The names that we use in the search examples may or may not exist in your product's database. They are simply names that we use to show how you should format your search queries. For example, you may find some example names in Web of Science Core Collection but not in other product databases.


Author Search

We recommend that you use the Author Search function to identify and retrieve all the works published by a particular author.

Author Search lets you to design your search based on what you know about an author in order to differentiate authors who have the same name.


Author Search Tip

To restrict the results of your search, combine an Author search with another field such as Topic, Title, or Address.


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 (Booleans)

To search on a name that resembles a Boolean (AND, OR, NOT, NEAR, and SAME), enclose the name in quotation marks. Example: "Or"


Searching for Journal Authors

To restrict your search to authors of journal articles, deselect the two Conference and Book citation indexes.


Searching for Proceedings Authors

To restrict your search to authors of conference papers, select only the two conference proceedings citation indexes. Deselect all other citation indexes.


Did You Know ...

Web of Science contains the names of all authors associated with a source document such as:

  • Journal articles
  • Proceedings papers
  • Books
  • Book Chapter
  • Meeting abstracts
  • And more ...


Author Names 1964-1975

When you view the Full Record of articles from data years 1964-1975, you will see that surnames containing more than eight characters have been truncated.

For example, a search for Wilkinson PN appears in the Full Record as WILKINSO.PN.