Microsoft Academic

Information about Microsoft Academic queries

NOTE: Microsoft Academic discontinued API access after 31 December 2021. For details see the Microsoft announcement here. The MA web interface has likewise been discontinued and now redirects to the Microsoft home page. We have maintained Microsoft Academic documentation for heritage projects.

The Microsoft Academic search pane in Publish or Perish allows you to perform a Microsoft Academic search and analyse its results; it contains a structured version of the parameters accepted by Microsoft Academic. Publish or Perish uses these parameters to perform a Microsoft Academic search, 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).

Microsoft Academic access

Publish or Perish includes results from Microsoft Academic Knowledge API in Azure Cognitive Services. You must request your own (free) subscription key on that web site. This is very quick and easy to do, you can log in with your LinkedIn account and will have access to your free subscription key within seconds.

How to perform a Microsoft Academic search

To perform a Microsoft Academic search:

  1. Enter the relevant parameters in the various fields (see below for an explanation of each parameter);
  2. Click Search or press the Enter key.

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


This pane contains the following fields.

Option Description
Authors Enter the names of the authors you want to look up. The recommended format is to use full given name and family name. For more search tips, see Author search.
Years Enter the range of years in which the papers must have been published. You can set either year to 0 (zero) to indicate "don't care".
Affiliations Enter the affilations that you want to search for. For tips on search syntax, see Affiliation search.
Study field

Enter the study fields that you want to search for. As for the Authors field, you can enter multiple fields separated by AND or OR, for example psychology OR "clinical medicine".

Note: Study field designations can vary and overlap, so you should use this option to narrow down other searches rather than blindly rely on its results.

Full journal title Enter the full name of the publication or journal that you want to look up. Microsoft Academic does not return any results if you only provide a partial journal title. For more search tips, see Journal search.
Title words

Enter any words that must specifically occur in the title of a publication.

Note: Prior to Publish or Perish version 7.21, this field required that you entered the full article title. Thanks to improvements in the Microsoft Academic API this is no longer necessary and you can enter any combination of title words, similar to all other data sources.


Enter any additional words that must all appear in the abstract of the returned papers. This can be used to narrow down the search for a specific set of papers.

For tips on search syntax, see General/keyword search.


Perform the search. If possible, the search is satisfied from the local Publish or Perish cache; this saves time and reduces the load on Microsoft Academic. If no cache entry for the search exists or the entry is older than the maximum cache age, then the search is forwarded to Microsoft Academic. After the results are received from Microsoft Academic, the local cache is automatically refreshed.

Tip: You can change the maximum cache age in the Preferences: Microsoft Academic dialog box, which is accessible through the Tools > Preferences command.

Search Direct

Submit the search directly to Microsoft Academic, bypassing the local Publish or Perish cache. This may be useful if you suspect that Microsoft Academic may have newer information than is available through the local cache. When the results are returned from Microsoft Academic, the local cache is automatically refreshed.

Note: It is not useful to perform multiple direct lookups for the same query shortly after another; this merely increases the load on Microsoft Academic. We recommend that you only use the Search Direct function as a last resort.

Clear All Clears all query fields. You can use this to quickly prepare the fields for an entirely new query.
Revert Restores the query fields to their previous state. This function is only available as long as you have not performed a lookup with the current query fields.
New Shows a drop-down menu that allows you to create a new search. Where possible, the new search's fields are copied from the current search; this makes it easy to submit the same search parameters to multiple data sources.