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Stirling Management School Database Guides: Web of Science



What is it?

Web of Science Core Collection is part of the Web of Science gateway service that provides access to a number of different databases (see Web of Science - All Databases guide).

Web of Science Core Collection includes the Citation Indexes:
Science Citation Index 1900 onwards
Social Sciences Citation Index 1900 onwards
Arts and Humanities Citation Index 1975 onwards
Conference Proceedings Citation Index- Science 1990 onwards
Conference Proceedings Citation Index- Social Science & Humanities 1990 onwards
Book Citation Index– Science 2005 onwards
Book Citation Index– Social Sciences & Humanities 2005 onwards
Emerging Sources Citation Index  2015 onwards


Web of Science Core Collection also includes:  
Current Chemical Reactions 1986 onwards
(Includes Institut National de la Propriete Industrielle structure data back to 1840)
Index Chemicus 1993 onwards






What is it for?

Web of Science Core Collection is useful for four main reasons 1) to find up to date articles from the sciences, social sciences and the arts, although a subject- specific database may be more appropriate 2) to find review articles on a subject 3) to do a citation search for a key paper 4) finding conference papers in the sciences and social sciences.



How to search

Each database can be searched individually or in combination with the others. Make your selections using the More Settings option at the foot of the Web of Science Core Collection search screen.


You are automatically placed in the Web of Science Basic Search screen so you can carry out a Topic, Author search, etc.  To select a different type of search, for example a Cited Reference Search, choose the down arrow next to Basic Search above the Search box.


AND searches (to narrow the search), e.g., car AND pollution

OR searches (to broaden the search), e.g., car OR automobile OR vehicle

PHRASE searches: use quotation marks to find 2 or more words in that order, eg "health service"

Truncation: use * for multiple letters or no letter, e.g., estuarwill find estuary, estuarine, estuaries. Use ? for one character, e.g., wom?n will find woman or women . Use $ to find zero or one characters colo?r will find color or colour.

Spelling variaions: automatically finds spelling variations (such as U.S. and U.K. spelling differences) in Topic and Title search. For example: color finds spelling variants such as color and colour.
Lemmatization: by default is On in the Search Settings. Searches for inflected forms of words in Topic and/or Title searches. Lemmatization allows for a broader scope of functionality and includes synonyms, plurals, and singulars in the search results. For example: mouse find mouse or mice.

Refine Results: Use the Refine Results section at the left hand side of the results screen to refine your search, e.g., to add in more keywords, to select a particular subject area, to limit to review articles only.

Useful Refine options include:

Refine by Web of Science Categories: Use Web of Science Categories to refine your results to specific fields of study.  Web of Science categories are journal-based and so the refine option will return only records which were published in the journals matching your selected Categories. Journals are assigned to Categories by Thomson Reuters.  Each Citation Index has its own set of Categories: Science Citation Index Categories and Social Science Citation Index Categories and Arts & Humanities Citation Index Categories.

Refine by Research Areas:  Use Research Areas to refine your results to specific fields of study.  Research Area terms are article-based and so will more precisely match the subject of the article (rather than the journal, as with Web of Science Categories). The terms are added to each record by Thomson Reuters staff - see the full-list of Web of Science Research Areas.

Refine by Document Types: the Document Types option allows you to refine your results by different types of document - particularly useful is the option for 'Review'; these are review articles that provide a summary article covering a research topic.

Refine by Countries/Territories: It can be useful to refine by Countries/Territories but note that this search is using the countries/territories of the authors' affiliations. That is, articles are refined on where the authors' institutions are located rather than the places discussed within the articles.


Combining Searches: To combine searches click on the Search History link and then combine sets together by ticking the appropriate set number and combining with the appropriate Boolean operator (usually AND to narrow your search).  Now click on Combine.




CITED REFERENCE SEARCHCitation searching allows you to find articles that have quoted a given article in their reference list. This type of search should be carried out using all the years of the database.  

Choose the down arrow next to Basic Search above the Search box and select Cited Reference Search.  

First enter the details of your article of interest: enter the author’s name in the Cited Author box in the form: beveridge m*  the author’s last name is entered first and you can use the asterisk truncation symbol * if you do not know all of the author’s initials.  Then enter the year that the article was published in the Cited year(s) box: e.g. 1985. It is probably best to leave the Cited Work box empty as authors are sometimes inconsistent in their citations.  Click on the Search button.

On the next screen you will see a list of potential matching references. Select the check box(es) next to your reference of interest. (Note you may need to tick more than one checkbox due to inconsistencies in the way your article of interest has been cited). Then click on the Finish Search button.  The next screen will display a list of all the articles that cite your selected reference.


See also the video below showing a Cited Reference search.


Full text?

Click on the Full-Text button that displays under each record - then choose the Check WebBridge button Check WebBridge button, which provides links to the full text of the journal if available, or to the library catalogue, to check if we have the item in paper format.



Refworks ?

Records can be downloaded into RefWorks (a software product for managing references and formatting bibliographies).


Further help

For help, click on the question mark icon in the bottom right hand corner. See the videos below plus:



Marking records for printing and downloading


Results are displayed in summary format, up to ten items are displayed per page. To go to another page of results, click the navigation arrows or type a page number.

To see the full record of an item in the results listing, click on the record title.

Web of Science results: You can mark items from the results listing screen by selecting the checkbox next to record(s) and then selecting Add to Marked List at the top right hand side of the records listing. Then select Marked List on the far right hand side of the grey menu bar above the results.  From the Marked List screen you can choose to print, email or output your records to bibliographic management software (such as RefWorks): choose the Print or Email icons or choose your bibliographic software in the Send to drop down menu.


Video: Web of Science Introduction

Video: Build Better Searches in Web of Science

Link to Web of Science Core Collection