3.2.2 Step-by-step search strategy
I have found that the following search strategy is often very effective:
- Search for the target academics name with his/her first initial and surname in quotes, e.g. "A Harzing". Please note that Google Scholar matches the surname and initials anywhere in the initials+surname combination, so "C Kulik" would be matched by CT Kulik (our target academic), CLC Kulik, but also by PC Kulik.
- It is generally better to use fewer initials and then exclude the ones you don't want (see next point) instead of using more initials, because many citations (or authors) are sloppy with the initials they use. With too many initials in the Author's name field you run the risk of missing a substantial number of relevant articles.
- To exclude certain names, enter them in the Exclude these names field. For example, to exclude CLC Kulik from the previous example, enter "CLC Kulik" in the Exclude these names field (and keep "C Kulik" in the Author's name field). You can enter more than one exclusion in Exclude these names: "CL Kulik" "CLC Kulik" would exclude both these combinations from the search.
- A quicker way to exclude names for academics who have only published with one or two initials is to use *. For instance, any authors with three or more initials could be excluded from the above search by including “C** Kulik” in the Exclude these names field. This strategy is particularly effective for academics who systematically publish with one initial only.
- Ensure you have ticked the relevant subject areas, but do not define these too narrow. For academics in Management for instance, it is usually safest to click both Business and Social Sciences.
- If the result includes publications not published by the target academic, deselect those publications (remove the tick mark in the first column by clicking on it). If the list is long, it might be easier to deselect all publications first and then only select the relevant publications. Please note that any titles with less than 5 citations usually have very little or no impact on the h-index, but might influence the g-index. Hence, if you are faced with a very long list and are only interested in the h-index, you might consider deselecting all and only reviewing titles with 5 or more citations.
- Selecting relevant publications can be made easier by sorting the results by Cites, Authors, Title, Year, Publication, or Publisher. Click twice to reverse the sort order. Sorting is done simply by clicking on the corresponding column heading.