Is there any way to find all papers that acknowledge a specific author? (i.e., the author is mentioned in the acknowledgement section)

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    I've never heard of a database that indexes this. I think you'll just need a full-text search. Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 4:53
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    Naïve Full text search won't work, as you will often get citations to their works (and of course works that they themselves authored). With some parsing to identify the acknowledgement section, a "restricted" text search on that only would work. Writing such a parser is left as an exercise to the reader. Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 6:27

2 Answers 2


Resorting to advanced search tool that most famous publishers offer would simplify your task (at least to an extent).

E.g., search for papers with name in full-text and not in authors and not in references.

Currently existing journal libraries do not support such a feature yet. The solution to your question is a topic of research by itself. The following articles, [1] and [2], might provide some insights.


As recently as February 2015, there was such a search engine, called AckSeer (patterned after CiteSeer): http://ackseer.ist.psu.edu. Unfortunately, it seems to be inactive now. You can see what it used to look like on the Internet Archive. There is a scholarly article that describes it in detail.

Now, probably the only way to do search for authors in acknowledgements would be to search in a scholarly database that lets you:

  • Search the full text for the desired author's first and last name in quotes;
  • and simultaneously exclude the author's name from the author search.

Searching for the author's first and last name in quotes (e.g. "Firstname Lastname") is probably the best way to avoid returning articles that mention the author in the reference list, since most reference lists don't list authors in that format. This suggested technique is not foolproof, but it's the best way I can think of to get the closest to what you're asking for.

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    The search query you suggest returns many instances of the OP's name in references and in-text mentions: scholar.google.com/…"
    – ff524
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 2:29
  • Google Scholar is absolutely unsuitable for the kind of search that I suggested. As far as I can tell, for licensing reasons (I assume), it cannot distinguish meaningfully between fields when searching. Google Scholar is great for many things (e.g. I linked to it in my post to provide the scholarly article), but certainly not for this kind of search. Hence, I said, "a scholarly database that lets you ...".
    – Tripartio
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 2:32
  • You suggested searching the full text for the full name and excluding authored papers. That's exactly what my query does. (I think you assume wrong. Google Scholar does let you search body and author separately)
    – ff524
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 2:33
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    OK. I acknowledge your point. That said, if you look at the Google Scholar results in detail, out of the first 10 listed results, four mention Franck Dernoncourt in the acknowledgements (as requested), one is a dud (doesn't seem to mention his name at all), and five mention him in reference lists (false positives). So, with 4/10, "this suggested technique is not foolproof, but it's the best way I can think of."
    – Tripartio
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 2:43

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