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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

(a) Your search will include all databases listed above, but to choose only one or more databases select from the Editions menu.

(b) You are automatically placed in the Web of Science Basic Search screen to search for Documents using all fields. Click the drop down menu on All Fields to choose to search only in a specific field e.g. topic, author, publication etc.

(c) Select Cited References if you wish to follow which papers are citing back to a specific article or source.

(d) Use the Researchers tab for easy searching and identifying authors. Filter by the author's organisation. Authors can veryfy their record(s) and control how their name, title, institution and profile image appears.


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 History on top ribbon and check your keywords are correct (you can delete unwanted sets). Then click Advanced Search and then combine sets together by ticking the appropriate set number and combining with the relevant Boolean operator (AND to narrow your search or use OR to broaden).  You can click the results number to view the references.


CITED REFERENCEs searchallows you to find articles that have cited or quoted a specific source. This type of search should be carried out using all the years of the database.  

At the Basic Search search screen select the Cited References option (see image above). 

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.


Full text?

There may be a number of options to find full text:

  •  Use the Find@Stir button  to find the full text in the Library. If full text is not available, you will see an option to Request Article. This is a free service. If the Library can obtain the article, it will be emailed to you.
  • If you have installed the LibKey Nomad (or another) browser add-on you my see PDF links e.g. 



Refworks ?

Records can be exported to EndNote or to RefWorks referencing software.See guidance on export to New RefWorks or Legacy RefWorks.


Further help

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


Help page for Librarians:

Marking records for printing and downloading


Results are displayed in summary format. From the option at the bottom of the results page, choose to display 10, 25 or 50 results per page.

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 results listing. When you have finished selecting records, click Marked List at the top of the WoS screen.  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