Author disambiguation: Use full given name
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 the latest Publish or Perish version 5.
Another possibility to limit the number of false hits in Publish or Perish, is to include the author’s full given name, for instance “Carol Kulik”.
Limitation of this strategy: some journals only use initials
However, this excludes any publications in which the author’s given names are not spelled out in full. As journals in some fields (e.g. Operations Research) have a tendency to use initials only, for some academics this might miss many publications.
Limitation of this strategy: hyphenated names
This strategy is also likely to fail with authors with hyphenated names as these are more likely to be reproduced incorrectly. For instance “Anne-Wil Harzing” provides 500 fewer citations than “A Harzing”.
The best compromise
However, a strategy of using “initials + last name” combined with “given name + last name” might be useful if an author has mainly published with two or more initials, but has some publications with only one initial. For instance searching for “CT Kulik” OR “Carol Kulik” produces results that are identical to a broader search for “C Kulik” with a very large number of exclusions (e.g "CC Kulik" "CL Kulik" "CJ Kulik" "JC Kulik" "AC KUlik" "JA Kulik" “GC Kulik” “C** Kulik”).
In general though, I would recommend only using the author's given name:
- as a last resort for authors with very common names,
- as a very “quick-and-dirty” check to see whether a particular academic has published something.
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Copyright © 2017 Anne-Wil Harzing. All rights reserved. Page last modified on Sun 12 Mar 2017 14:52
Anne-Wil Harzing is Professor of International Management at Middlesex University, London. In addition to her academic duties, she also maintains the Journal Quality List and is the driving force behind the popular Publish or Perish software program.