Journal search: Exclude by ISSN(1)

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 suffer from the same problems.

Just like individuals journals sometimes have very common names. If excluding journal namesakes by title (Journal search: Exclude homonyms) is not feasible in Publish or Perish, a good option is to exclude journals by ISSN.

Excluding JoM namesakes by ISSN

Taking the Journal of Management as an example, a search for 1990 presents us with 483 results, which includes a dozen journals that have “Journal of Management” as part of their name, such as “British Journal of Management” or “Journal of Management Development”. However, we can exclude all these hits by excluding the ISSN numbers for these journals (see screenshot).

tip26

Publish or Perish version 5: Include the ISSNs in the None of the words field.

ISSN exclusion is a safer option

The advantage of using ISSN exclusion over excluding by journal name is that this does not accidentally remove full-text articles from the Journal of Management that include references with one of these journal titles.

ISSN exclusion does not exclude stray citations

The disadvantage is that using ISSN exclusion does not exclude the slightly “dubious” results with a [citation] preface. These are results to which Google Scholar found references, but for which the original work was not found online. The reason is that Google Scholar is unable to find the ISSN number in the data that it does have access to.

Use "uncheck citation" to remove stray citations

However, this is easily resolved by clicking the button Uncheck CITATION. Unchecking [citation] records is not recommended for an author impact search as many books, book chapters, and other non-traditional publications (such as software) are of this type. Hence removing these results would disadvantage authors who publish (some of) their work in these outlets.

Stray citations can be safely excluded for journal impact searches

For a journal impact search these results typically do not seem to add much. Hence it is generally safe to exclude these hits. This leaves us with exactly 64 results for Journal of Management, a number that is identical to the result of a Web of Science search for this journal for 1990.

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