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Finding Journal Articles 101

By Author

How To Search By Author

Perhaps you know that Arthur Kellermann writes articles about emergency medicine. Or you saw a great article on breastfeeding, but all you copied down was the author’s name. Or you want to see if your professor ever publishes anything.

Virtually every database and index has some provision for searching for works written by a particular author. Usually it’s a fairly straightforward process. The database should either have an input box marked “author,” or a generic input box and a way to limit the search to the “author” field.

For example

International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (IPA) and PubMed use generic fields with drop-down menus that allow you to limit the search to “author.” Medline (EBSCO) uses generic field with either tags (au) or drop down boxes to limit to author.


Although different databases expect you to enter the author’s name in different ways, you’re generally safe just using the last name. If the last name is common, you’ll want to add a first and (if you know it) second initial. Thus, if you’re looking for articles by Arthur Kellermann, you could use:

  • Kellermann
  • Kellermann A
  • Kellermann AL

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