Journal search: Exclude homonyms

Publish or Perish tutorial

Note: The instructions below only refer to Google Scholar journal searches; other data sources do not suffer from the same problems.

Just like individuals, journals sometimes have very common names, leading to Publish or Perish results that are not all related to the journal you are searching for.

Search for generic journal name gets many irrelevant results

Searching for “Journal of Management” will also get you:

  • Journals with prefixes before “Journal of … ” such as Australian / British / European / Scandinavian / Sri Lankan Journal of Management
  • Journals with additional words after “Journal of Management” such as Development / Education / Studies / Information Studies / in Engineering

Exclude journals by exclude these words

You can attempt to exclude these journals by entering them into the exclude these words field. This strategy needs to be applied with extreme care, however, as Google Scholar matches exclude these words anywhere in the papers (including the list of references for those publications that have full-text online access).

Publish or Perish version 5: Exclude journals in the None of the words field.

Be careful: you might exclude too much

Hence if you simply exclude “British” you will exclude any article that has the word British anywhere in its abstract, text, or references, which is clearly not the intention. Likewise if you exclude “Education”, “Development” or even “Management Education” and “Management Development”, any articles in the Journal of Management containing those words will be excluded.

Even very specific exclusions might not be entirely safe

Even excluding “British Journal of Management” is not entirely safe as it will exclude articles in the Journal of Management that refer to this journal in their list of references, a not unlikely occurrence. Therefore, this strategy will only work if you exclude journals that are in a very different field such as for instance “Journal of Management in Engineering”.

Exclude these names works broadly

Unfortunately, unlike for the author search [Author search: Exclude homonyms], it is not possible to ensure Google Scholar excludes names only in the journal title field. Google Scholar does not seem to have implemented this feature.

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