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Tracking Your Publications   Tags: ernst mayr library, how_to, publishing  

How to keep track of your publications, create citation reports and more
Last Updated: Sep 20, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Making Sure It's You

All researchers want - and need - to keep track of their publications. An accurate list is important for keeping your curriculum vitae up to date. And of course, you want to be sure that anyone searching for your publications finds a complete and up-to-date list of your work - and only yours, not that of someone with a similar name. The more common your name, the more important it is to maintain an accurate list.

Have you published under different names? For instance, did you marry and change your name? Did you use a middle initial sometimes but not always? Did some journals variously identify you with one initial, more than one, full name, full name with middle initial, etc.? This Guide will help you first design a good search, refine it, ensure its accuracy, and save it. It will also show you how to make sure that others can find your works readily by establishing a Unique ID.


First, Collect Your Publications

Of course you can always maintain a list of your publications manually, but you also want to know how the world sees your work. The best way to do this is to use a database; the Web of Knowledge, for instance, allows you to cover a wide range of topics. Be sure to select the All Databases tab. This will include items in MEDLINE, the database behind PubMed. (You can also collect your references directly in PubMed; see this tab for details.)

In the Author search box, enter your name in the format last name first initial* (e.g. smith a*). If you have an unusual name, you might get lucky and find that only your articles are listed (though you should always check!). Most people, however, find that there are many possible items. The next step is to limit the results to those that are yours.

Results are listed in reverse chronological order. Scroll down until you find one that is yours. Open it and click on your name in the list of authors. In an ideal world, that would bring up your articles and only yours. Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world, so often that will not work. Why not?

There are several possibilities; the most likely is that your name is entered differently in different journals. The Web of Knowledge has been working on fixing this, working backwards, but items older than the early 2000's probably have not been updated. Also, this only works if the journal actually lists an author's full name. If it doesn't, some of your articles might be missed. So no matter how accurate a list might apear, it's ALWAYS important to go over it carefully for accuracy. There may be duplicates, for instance; select the best one.

As you go through lists, put checkmarks in the boxes next to the items that are yours. Along the top of the column, you will see this: . The arrow points to the checkboxes next to each item. Click the + to add the checked items. The red checkmark indicates the Marked List, which is a temporary holding pen where you can store items during your current session. And the number in ( ) indicates how many items are in your Marked List. Add items as you search. When you are finished, or at any time if you want to check, click on the number in ( ), or on the Marked List link at the top of the screen. (Again, remember that the Marked List is temporary, and disappears when you finish your session.)

Now that you have a list that is hopefully complete and accurate, you want to save it. There are many options; the next tab discusses some of those.

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