Searching the Author / Inventor Field

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

  • Author(s)
  • Additional Author(s)
  • Inventor(s) 

Note that in the previous version of this product database, you could search on Author / Editor / Inventor. The Editor field is now a separate search field. The Search History page will display your search as Author/Inventor=(author or inventor name).


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 and Editor 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 S, Johnson S A, and Johnson J S.

  • Johnson M finds Johnson M, Johnson M G, and Johnson M J S.

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

  • Johnson MS* finds Johnson M S.

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


Note: We have purposely omitted punctuation in our search examples even though on the Results page an author's name may appear with punctuation.


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. For example:

  • Johnson M* AND Hamner H* finds records of articles authored by both authors.

  • Johnson M* OR Hamner H* finds records of articles authored by either author or by both authors.

  • Johnson M* NOT Hamner H* finds records of articles in which Johnson M appears as the author but not Hamner H.

  • 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).

It is advisable that you do not use wildcards ( * ? $ ) in names that contain spaces. For example, Van*Hecke finds Vanhecke, but it will not find other variations of the name such as Van Hecke.

Note: The names in the above examples may or may not exist in your product database. They are simply examples that are intended to show you how to search for name variations. For example, you may find them in Web of Science but you may not find them in another database to which your institution subscribes.


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.


Last Name with Spaces

Last names with spaces and special characters such as apostrophes (') can present problems when searching for a specific name. Last names containing a space should be searched with and without the space. For example:

  • de la Rosa OR De* la Rosa finds Barba de la Rosa A. P., Barba-de la Rosa A. P., Carmen de la Rosa M. del, and so on.

  • De Marco* OR DeMarco* finds both variations of the name.


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 Tip

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


Anonymous Authors / Inventors

To search for anonymous authors and inventors, enter anon in the Author / Inventor field.

The term Anon 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"