Search authors

The best way to search for authors is to use the search query parameter, which searches the display_name and the display_name_alternatives fields. Example:
Searching without a middle initial returns names with and without middle initials. So a search for "John Smith" will also return "John W. Smith".
Names with diacritics are flexible as well. So a search for David Tarrago can return David Tarragó, and a search for David Tarragó can return David Tarrago. When searching with a diacritic, diacritic versions of the names are prioritized in order to honor the original form of the author's name. Read more about our handling of diacritics here.
You can read more in the search page in the API Guide. It will show you how relevance score is calculated, how words are stemmed to improve search results, and how to do complex boolean searches.

Search a specific field

You can also use search as a filter, by appending .search to the end of the property you are filtering for:
When searching for authors, there is no difference when using the search parameter or the filter display_name.search, since display_name is the only field searched when finding authors.
Search filter
Field that is searched
You can also use the filter default.search, which works the same as using the search parameter.

Autocomplete authors

You can autocomplete authors to create a very fast type-ahead style search function:
This returns a list of authors with their last known affiliated institution as the hint:
{
"results": [
{
"id": "https://openalex.org/A5007433649",
"display_name": "Ronald Swanstrom",
"hint": "University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA",
"cited_by_count": 19142,
"works_count": 339,
"entity_type": "author",
"external_id": "https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7777-0773",
"filter_key": "authorships.author.id"
},
...
]
}
Read more about autocomplete.