Journal search: Edited volumes

Note: This tutorial was originally written for Publish or Perish version 4 and all screenshots come from this version. However, the information as such is also applicable for the latest Publish or Perish version 5. However, the instructions below only refer to Google Scholar journal searches; Microsoft Academic does not allow searching for edited works in this way.

Although journals are the most common sources of publications, the Publish or Perish Journal Impact search can also be used to search for publications in other sources. Edited book volumes are a common source in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

Comprehensive citation counts for edited volumes

Typically a lot of authors will refer to individual chapters within an edited book. Hence, in order to assess the overall impact of an edited book, one would need to search for citations to individual chapters as well as citations to the book as a whole.

  1. The easiest way to search for citations to the book as a whole is to search for the editor(s) of the book and include the year of publication.
  2. To find citations of chapters that appear in an edited volume, use the following parameters:
    • Journal title: enter the title of the edited volume, preferably within quotes.
    • Year of publication between ... and ...: enter the copyright year of the volume in both fields.
    • Depending on the number of matches that you find, you may want to use the Exclude these words field to restrict the search.

Worked Example: Handbook of organization studies

In 1996 Cynthia Hardy, Stewart Clegg and Walter Nord published the Handbook of Organization Studies. A new edition of this book appeared in 2006. If we want to establish the impact that this handbook has had on the field, we need to be able to accumulate citations to all chapters in this handbook.

Searching for the editors using multiple author names

When searching for the editors, I found a total of 1115 citations to the Handbook as such. As described in [Author disambiguation: Use multiple names], this can be done easily by including the three family names in the authors name field. Google Scholar then only provides publications co-written by these three authors.


This provides us with 946 citations to the original book and 169 to its Spanish translation. Unfortunately, Google Scholar has the tendency to ascribe all citations to a book to the latest edition of that book. Hence we cannot distinguish citations to the 1996 edition from citations to the 2006 edition.

Citations to individual chapters add 4000+ citations

More importantly, the screenshot below shows that another 4000+ citations can be found for citations to individual chapters within the handbook. Hence, only about a fifth of the total number of citations to the Handbook was to the handbook as a whole.


Smart searching allows a comprehensive case for impact

Needless to say, the editors of the Handbook above could make a much stronger case for the impact of the Handbook if they conducted a comprehensive citation search as described above. As edited volumes are an important way to publish state-of-the art research in some disciplines, it is very important to be able to conduct a comprehensive citation search for all references to the edited volume.

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