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2009 MARCH–APRIL No. 367
April 10, 2009 [posted]

skillkit graphicSkill Kit: Searching Full Author Names in PubMed®

graphical image of the letter T

T 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:

Searching for an Author

Read more about full name searching:

MEDLINE® Data Changes — 2002

PubMed®/MEDLINE® Available with 2002 MeSH and Two Changes

Full Author Searching Comes to PubMed®

Study Collaborators Included in MEDLINE®/PubMed®

Skill Kit: Searching Full Author Names in PubMed®. NLM Tech Bull. 2009 Mar-Apr;(367):e12.

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