Answered By: Lynn VanLeer
Last Updated: Nov 20, 2019     Views: 4881

One way to try to find articles by a specific author is to use Thoreau, our multi-database search tool.


Note about author names in Library databases:

Databases typically use the following formats:

  • lastname, firstname  (e.g., Jefferson, Thomas)

  • lastname, first initial  (e.g., Jefferson, T)

Typing in the author name in the firstname lastname format (e.g., Thomas Jefferson) will usually get you articles about the person, instead of articles written by them.



You can follow these steps to search by author name in Thoreau:

  1. On the  Library homepage, type the author's name in the search box and click search. 

    Tip: Expand your search terms by including variations of the author's name, including both the full first name and initials. Connect the name variations with OR.

    Examples of how one author has his name listed:

    Maslow, Abraham

    Maslow, Abraham H

    Maslow, AH

    Maslow, A. H.

  2. Type the variations of the name into the first search box. For example:

    Maslow, Abraham OR Maslow, A. H.

  3. Change the drop-down menu next to the first search box to AU Author.

    Tip: If the author has a common name (e.g., John Watson), add topic keywords to the other search boxes. Adding additional terms to your search helps to narrow results to the specific author you want to find.
  4. Click Search.


Here is an example of a search set up: 

In the first search box:  Watson, John

The first row dropdown is changed to: AU Author

In the second search box: behaviorism


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