Skip to Main Content

Web of Science (WOS) Core Collection

Describes how to access and to search the Web of Science (WOS) database.

Document Search: Author

Tips for some frequently used author-related searches are below. Use the drop-down menu to change the search fields.

Screen shot of Web of Science search form with the Author index field selected.



WOS contains the names of all authors associated with an article. The most common way to search for an author is to type in Last Name, First Initial followed by an asterisk (*). E.g. Smith J* 

The asterisk allows for all letters after the first initial. WOS inputs an author's name exactly as it appears in the article. By inserting the asterisk, all variations of the author's name are included in the search. Some examples of how author names should appear in the search box are below:

Chomsky N (the system automatically adds the * after the first initial, so entering Chomsky N* is the same as Chomsky N)

Crick FHC (use this form if you are certain the author consistently publishes with all initials)

da Silva B* OR Dasilva B* (for variant spellings)

Other examples of variant spelling searching:
MacAdam OR McAdam

Zhuang J OR Zhang J

Two authors:
Schoenbrunner A AND Beckmeyer A

An alternative to searching for the author name is to use the Author Record form, which is a collection of documents likely authored by the same person. The Authors form is a pull-down option in Documents search form.

Group Author

This refers to organizations or institutions as authors (e.g. World Health Organization or NASA), not to multiple individuals as authors. An alternative to typing the group author name is to search the Group Author Index from the pull-down menu.

Screen shot of Group Author search type in Web of Science search form.





Author Identifiers

Searches the Web of Science ResearcherID and ORCID ID fields for researchers' ID numbers (e.g. 0000-0002-8263-8408).


From the pull-down menu, select Address and enter a place name or zip code from the author's address to search for records based on publications made at that address (e.g. Ann Arbor or 48109). 


From the pull-down menu, select Affiliation, and enter the organization or institution for records based on publications made at that organization or institution (e.g. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) or University of Michigan).

Other Document Searches


WOS is not case sensitive. Keep search terms relatively simple (or try lots of synonyms!) because "topic" searching is not a true subject search. Your keywords are searched in the title, abstract and keyword fields only. AND is the implicit operator (connector) between words; NOT and OR, and quotation marks, can be used to indicate relationships between words as well. E.g. "digital signal processing"


The Title search index refers to the title of a journal article, paper, book, or book chapter. E.g. "disability and social justice"

Publication Titles

The Publication Titles search index refers to the journal title. You need to use the exact title words to find results for a specific journal, e.g. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities. The most effective way to search for citations in a particular publication is to select a title from the Publication Titles Index, the green A-Z dot linked next to the search box.

Web of Science pull down menu for Publication Titles search, using "journal of organizational" as an example