Author impact analysis

The Author impact analysis page allows you to perform a quick analysis of the impact of an author's publications. This page contains the minimum parameters that are necessary to look up an author's publications on Google Scholar. Publish or Perish uses these parameters to perform an Advanced Scholar Search query, which is then analyzed and converted to a number of statistics. The results are available on-screen and can also be copied to the Windows clipboard (for pasting in other applications) or saved to a text file (for future reference or further analysis). See General search if you want to perform a search with more parameters than available on the Author impact analysis page.

The Author impact analysis page contains the following panes:

For important background information, see:

Tip: Any queries that you execute on this page are automatically added to the Recent queries folder on the Multi-queries center page.

How to perform an Author impact analysis

To perform a basic impact analysis:

  1. Enter the author's name in the Author's name field;
  2. Click Lookup or press the Enter key.

The program will now contact Google Scholar to obtain the citations, process the list, and calculate the Citation metrics, which are then displayed in the Results pane. The full list of results is also available for inspection or modifications and can be exported in a variety of formats.

Important note

An author query is not the same as a standard Google Scholar search (i.e., from the Google Scholar home page); it is more specific. If you want to duplicate the results from a standard Google Scholar search, then follow the instructions on the General citation query page.

Refining your analysis

In many cases, the list of results will contain works of authors that are not the intended author. You can refine the citation search and analysis with one or more of the following methods. See Accuracy of the results for additional notes and cautions.

Warning If you change the any of the fields (except the selections in the Results list), you must resubmit the search by clicking Lookup again.

Include an author's initials

You can use a more detailed author's name, for example by including initials. A search for Harzing can be refined by changing it to A Harzing (or Harzing A, which has the same effect); likewise, you can use CT Kulik instead of Kulik if you know that the author usually publishes with those two initials. Be careful, though: authors are not always consistent in the initials that they use, and references to their articles may use other combinations or formats still.

Tip: Name matching is case-insensitive; harzing, Harzing, and HARZING all match the same works.

Quoting the author's name

By default, Google Scholar matches the name and initials anywhere in the list of authors, so CT Kulik would also be matched by P Kulik, CT Williamson. To match an author's initials only in combination with her or his own surname, use "quotes" around the author's name: "CT Kulik" will not match P Kulik, CT Williamson, but it will match CT Kulik and CTM Kulik, or any other name that contains both CT and Kulik.

Search for multiple authors

To search for articles co-written by specific authors, enter all their names in the Author's name field: "C Kulik" "M Ambrose" will return only articles that have both authors in their author list.

You can also use the logical OR operator in the field to find articles written by either author or by both: "C Kulik" OR "M Ambrose" returns articles authored by C Kulik and M Ambrose separately (although possibly with others), or co-authored by both.

Warning Do not try to use the AND keyword in an author search. Google Scholar does not recognize this keyword and will treat it as a normal search word. Instead, just enter multiple author names; this will behave as an "and" search by default.

Excluding certain authors

To exclude certain author names, enter them in the Exclude these authors field. For example, to exclude CLC Kulik from the earlier example, enter "CLC Kulik" in the Exclude these authors field. You can enter more than one exclusion in Exclude these authors : "CL Kulik" "CLC Kulik" would exclude both these combinations from the search.

Restricting the years of publication

If you know that a certain author only published after (or before) a certain year, you can enter the start or end years in the Year of publication between ... and ... fields. You can also use these fields if you want to analyse the author's publications from a given period.

Include or exclude individual works

If the list of results is fairly limited, you can manually include or exclude citations from the analysis by checking or clearing the boxes in the Results list.

Tip: In contrast to the other refinements, changes in the Results list take effect immediately and are reflected in the summary field. You do not have to resubmit your search.

Here are some shortcuts:

You can also select a consecutive range of items in the list (left-click on the first item, then hold either Shift key and left-click on the last item) and use the Check selection/Uncheck selection buttons to check/uncheck all selected items and recalculate the citation statistics.

Step-by-step search strategy

We have found that the following search strategy is often very effective:

  1. Search for the target academic’s 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, CLC Kulik, but also by PC Kulik.
  2. 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.
  3. To exclude certain author names, enter them in the Exclude these authors field. For example, to exclude CLC Kulik from the previous example, enter "CLC Kulik" in the Exclude these authors field (and keep "C Kulik" in the Author's name field). You can enter more than one exclusion in Exclude these authors : "CL Kulik" "CLC Kulik" would exclude both these combinations from the search.
  4. 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.
  5. Selecting relevant publications might be easier by sorting the results by Cites, Authors, Title, Year, Publication, or Publisher. Sorting is done simply by clicking on the corresponding column heading.