Skill Kit: Searching Full Author Names in PubMed®
Searching by full name is generally limited to citations to articles published from 2002 forward and to journals that publish full names of authors. Therefore, the ability to search on full names does not ensure comprehensive retrieval, even from 2002 forward.
• Authors may not consistently use the same form of their names in all publications|
• Many authors have similar or identical names
• Use the auto-complete feature on the Advanced Search page
• Not all journals provide full author names
• Full names display only on the MEDLINE format
he National Library of Medicine began including the full names
of authors in MEDLINE® /PubMed citations to articles published in 2002. Beginning in May 2005 PubMed users were able to search for authors using their full first and last names (referred to here as full name). Please note that "first" name, sometimes called forename or given name, also includes middle names or initials.
To search using a full name, enter the first and last name and click Go (e.g., Harold Varmus) (see Figure 1). You will also get the items in which the author's middle
initial was published with his name (i.e., Harold E. Varmus).
Full names are not always as simple, memorable, or unique as the example used here. PubMed provides a full author name auto-complete feature on the Advanced Search page. If you are unsure of the author's full name or, for example, you want to search Ryan James but not James Ryan, go to Advanced Search.
On Advanced Search, use the search-by-field section (Search by Author, Journal, Publication Date, and more). Change the Author field to Full Author Name. Start
typing the name you want to search. You can enter first name, last name, both,
or part of the first or last name. As you type, PubMed will automatically suggest full author names matching your entry (see Figure 2). Select the name you want and
click Search. Keep in mind authors may not consistently use the same form of
their names in all publications and many authors have similar or identical names.
Watch this Quick Tour:
Read more about full name searching:
Skill Kit: Searching Full Author Names in PubMed®. NLM Tech Bull. 2009 Mar-Apr;(367):e12.