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Grey Literature and Other Sources: Authors and experts

An overview of key search strategies to locate grey literature, informal or unpublished material. Provides sources and instructions on reporting requirements for systematic reviews.

Authors and experts title banner

Why search for authors and experts?

Key authors and experts can be a valuable source of information about studies you have not found through other means. 

Search a known author to discover more about them and their works. You might also want to identify key authors and experts in your research area. When searching, remember that author names may be listed differently from one publication to the next.

If you are a research degree candidate, speak with your supervisor prior to contacting key authors or experts.

Find authors and experts

If you know the name of an author and would like to find out more about them, you could search for their work in databases, look for their author profiles (e.g. ORCID, Google Scholar Citations) or use a search engine to find any institutional profile (e.g. university staff homepage).

Most databases will allow you to search for individual authors to see a list of their publications indexed in that particular database. You can also use online author profiles to find individuals' publication lists and information about their research.

Find author works in Scopus

The video below shows author searching in Scopus.

Video Length: 2:47

Please note this text refers to a similar but slightly different video - it is in the process of being updated to match the revised video

How to search for authors and view their profile in Scopus

In the search page:

  • Select Authors and enter the name you wish to search.
  • Adding Affiliation or ORCiD number helps search more common names.
  • Search tips option is available on the right side of the screen.

image exmaple of the author search

In the results page:

  • Select Show profile matches with one document to see all results.
  • To view the results by published work, select the number under the Documents heading.
  • To view author details, select the name (a name is automatically generated when there are two or more documents indexed under the same name in Scopus).

image example of author profile matches 

In the author details page:

  • To ensure the results have captured the author’s full body of work, select View potential author matches.

image example of potential matches

  • A new window opens containing a list of profiles that may be associated with this author (Scopus does not have enough information to make an exact match.)
  • Select the author names that you believe are the same, then select View grouped with author (it creates a temporary group that is only visible to you).
    • In the results page, you may save the group by logging in with your Scopus account.
    • To view previously saved groups, login to Scopus and open the menu next to your account name, and expand My Scopus, then Grouped Authors.
  • If you are sure the names you choose are an exact match, select Request to merge with author.

image example of potential match results


Find author works in Web of Science

There are two ways to search for authors in Web of Science basic searches, Documents and Authors.

Documents

  • Select the Author field from the dropdown box.

Image of searching for authors using documents search

  • To search the exact author name and initials, use double quotation mark, e.g. “Young R”.
  • Use the filters on the left-hand menu of the results screen to narrow your results.

 

Authors

The Authors search allows searching by name or author identifier (ORCiD or Researcher ID).

  • Select the field (Name Search or Author Identifier) and enter the author details. If you are aware that the author has published under different names, you have the option to add a name variant.image of searching using the Authors search option
  • Once the results show, use the filters on the left-hand menu to further narrow down your results.

Scopus and Web of Science allow you to analyse search results. This may be useful in identifying possible authors to explore further.
 

Identify potential experts in Scopus
  1. Type your search into Scopus - for example:

  2. Select Analyze search results
    Location of Analyze search results command in Scopus
     
  3. Click the Documents by author box.

This will show you how many times a certain author's documents are appearing within your results. You can change the publication date range. Click the bar graph or author name to view the document list as a Scopus results set.

Example of documents by author in Scopus

Identify potential experts in Web of Science

Undertake your topic search and then analyse search results by selecting:

  1. Analyze Results
  2. Authors
  3. hover over an author's name to View records

Excerpt of Authors Visualization Treemap in Web of Science

Search for author profiles

Find out more about an author of interest using the the following author profile services. Search by name to discover if authors have a presence on one or more of these.

Guidelines and standards

'If individuals were contacted to identify studies, specify the types of individuals contacted (such as authors of studies included in the review or researchers with expertise in the area)' - PRISMA 2020 Explanation and Elaboration, p. 6