General search: Institutions

Publish or Perish tutorial

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 later versions of Publish or Perish.

The Publish or Perish General citation search can be used for very generic affiliation searches.

Google Scholar limitations: no bibliographic field for affiliation

Google Scholar does not have a bibliographic field for affiliation. This means that affiliation searches are not likely to be very accurate as Google Scholar will match the name of the university anywhere in the document (including acknowledgements, main body and references).

Please note: This type of search will NOT work in Microsoft Academic as in this data source any search is automatically restricted to title and abstract, not the entire full-text of articles (where the affiliation would be found).

Generic searches might provide useful information

Without further experimentation and testing, I would therefore not recommend the use of Publish or Perish for these purposes. The only exception would be very generic searches, such as to establish whether a particular university generates any academic papers at all, which might be quite useful when evaluating potential international collaborations.

Combine affiliation with topic or journal

However, in spite of these limitations, Google Scholar does seem to have some use in finding out whether there are any academics in a particular institution working on a specific topic or publishing in a particular journal. This could be useful for instance for PhD students looking for a supervisor or for academics looking for an institution to visit on their sabbatical.

Example: JIBS articles published at the University of Melbourne

The screenshot below shows an example of such a search focusing on articles published in the “Journal of International Business Studies” at the University of Melbourne, my previous employer.


Sort by Google Scholar rank instead of citation rank

In this type of search, it is generally best to sort the results by Google Scholar rank (by clicking on the rank column), rather than the standard sort for the number of citations. The latter privileges publications that have more citations, but these might be less relevant for the search in question.

Most results provide relevant information

Out of the 19 hits in the search, papers 1-15 and 17 were indeed written by one or more authors affiliated with Melbourne, whereas #18 and #19 both have the University of Melbourne mentioned as the PhD granting institution of Sebastian Reiche. The authors of publication #16 have no links to Melbourne, but refer to a working paper published at the University of Melbourne in their list of references.

Useful short-cut to identify relevant individuals at a university

This search might thus enable the student or academic to easily and very quickly identify relevant individuals in a particular university. However, it should be combined with other search strategies, such as perusing university web sites, for the best results.

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The development of the Publish or Perish software is a volunteering effort that has been ongoing since 2006. Download and use of Publish or Perish is and will remain free (gratis), but your support toward the costs of hosting, bandwidth, and software development are appreciated. Your support helps further development of Publish or Perish for new data sources and additional features.


PS: If you are using Publish or Perish on a regular basis, please take 5 minutes to provide me with some feedback.