The journal coverage of Web of Science and Scopus: a comparative analysis

Published on Jan 1, 2016in Scientometrics 2.17
· DOI :10.1007/s11192-015-1765-5
Philippe Mongeon8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Université de Montréal),
Adèle Paul-Hus6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Université de Montréal)
Bibliometric methods are used in multiple fields for a variety of purposes, namely for research evaluation. Most bibliometric analyses have in common their data sources: Thomson Reuters' Web of Science (WoS) and Elsevier's Scopus. The objective of this research is to describe the journal coverage of those two databases and to assess whether some field, publishing country and language are over or underrepresented. To do this we compared the coverage of active scholarly journals in WoS (13,605 journals) and Scopus (20,346 journals) with Ulrich's extensive periodical directory (63,013 journals). Results indicate that the use of either WoS or Scopus for research evaluation may introduce biases that favor Natural Sciences and Engineering as well as Biomedical Research to the detriment of Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities. Similarly, English-language journals are overrepresented to the detriment of other languages. While both databases share these biases, their coverage differs substantially. As a consequence, the results of bibliometric analyses may vary depending on the database used. These results imply that in the context of comparative research evaluation, WoS and Scopus should be used with caution, especially when comparing different fields, institutions, countries or languages. The bibliometric community should continue its efforts to develop methods and indicators that include scientific output that are not covered in WoS or Scopus, such as field-specific and national citation indexes.
  • References (26)
  • Citations (188)
Philip Barnett4
Estimated H-index: 4
Claudia Lascar3
Estimated H-index: 3
The current journal titles in earth and atmospheric sciences, that are unique to each of two databases, Web of Science and Scopus, were identified using different methods. Comparing by subject category shows that Scopus has hundreds of unique titles, and Web of Science just 16. The titles unique to each database have low SCImago Journal Rank Indicators (Scopus) and Impact Factors (Web of Science), thus indicating that the unique titles play a minor role within this discipline. An author affiliat...
3 Citations
Published on Jun 10, 2015in PLOS ONE 2.77
Vincent Larivière35
Estimated H-index: 35
(Université de Montréal),
Stefanie Haustein17
Estimated H-index: 17
(Université de Montréal),
Philippe Mongeon8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Université de Montréal)
The consolidation of the scientific publishing industry has been the topic of much debate within and outside the scientific community, especially in relation to major publishers’ high profit margins. However, the share of scientific output published in the journals of these major publishers, as well as its evolution over time and across various disciplines, has not yet been analyzed. This paper provides such analysis, based on 45 million documents indexed in the Web of Science over the period 19...
129 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 1, 2010in Scientometrics 2.17
Massimo Franceschet20
Estimated H-index: 20
(University of Udine)
Given the current availability of different bibliometric indicators and of production and citation data sources, the following two questions immediately arise: do the indicators’ scores differ when computed on different data sources? More importantly, do the indicator-based rankings significantly change when computed on different data sources? We provide a case study for computer science scholars and journals evaluated on Web of Science and Google Scholar databases. The study concludes that Goog...
104 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 1, 2010in Scientometrics 2.17
Susanne Mikki4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Bergen)
In order to measure the degree to which Google Scholar can compete with bibliographical databases, search results from this database is compared with Thomson’s ISI WoS (Institute for Scientific Information, Web of Science). For earth science literature 85% of documents indexed by ISI WoS were recalled by Google Scholar. The rank of records displayed in Google Scholar and ISI WoS, is compared by means of Spearman’s footrule. For impact measures the h-index is investigated. Similarities in measure...
47 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2006in Actes De La Recherche En Sciences Sociales 0.30
Paul Wouters1
Estimated H-index: 1
En analysant la naissance du Science Citation Index (SCI), cet article montre que le principe consistant a indexer les citations n’est pas une creation « naturelle » de l’univers scientifique lui-meme. C’est Eugene Garfield un entrepreneur specialise dans le domaine de l’information qui a transpose a la science un principe initialement applique, aux Etats-Unis, a la litterature juridique. La creation du SCI et le developpement de la scientometrie qui en a resulte, ont ete fortement marques par l...
2 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 1999in Information Processing and Management 3.44
Estimated H-index: 52
(Max Planck Society),
Urs Schoepflin9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Max Planck Society)
Abstract In earlier papers the authors focused on differences in the ageing of journal literature in science and the social sciences. It was shown that for several fields and topics bibliometric standard indicators based on journal articles need to be modified in order to provide valid results. In fields where monographs, books or reports are important means of scientific information, standard models of scientific communication are not reflected by journal literature alone. To identify fields wh...
148 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 1, 2010in Scientometrics 2.17
John Mingers40
Estimated H-index: 40
(University of Kent),
Evangelia Lipitakis2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Kent)
Assessing the quality of the knowledge produced by business and management academics is increasingly being metricated. Moreover, emphasis is being placed on the impact of the research rather than simply where it is published. The main metric for impact is the number of citations a paper receives. Traditionally this data has come from the ISI Web of Science but research has shown that this has poor coverage in the social sciences. A newer and different source for citations is Google Scholar. In t...
87 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 1, 2013in Scientometrics 2.17
Abrizah Abdullah13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Information Technology University),
A.N. Zainab11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Information Technology University)
+ 1 AuthorsRam Gopal Raj12
Estimated H-index: 12
(Information Technology University)
The study compares the coverage, ranking, impact and subject categorization of Library and Information Science journals, specifically, 79 titles based on data from Web of Science (WoS) and 128 titles from Scopus. Comparisons were made based on prestige factor scores reported in 2010 Journal Citation Reports and SCImago Journal Rank 2010 and noting the change in ranking when the differences are calculated. The rank normalized impact factor and the Library of Congress Classification System were us...
50 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 1, 2012in Nursing Outlook 2.42
Sandra L. De Groote12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University of Illinois at Chicago),
Rebecca Raszewski3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Illinois at Chicago)
Abstract Purpose This study compares the articles cited in CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science (WOS), and Google Scholar and the h-index ratings provided by Scopus, WOS, and Google Scholar. Methods The publications of 30 College of Nursing faculty at a large urban university were examined. Searches by author name were executed in Scopus, WOS, and POP (Publish or Perish, which searches Google Scholar), and the h-index for each author from each database was recorded. In addition, the citing articles of...
68 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 22, 2008in Online Information Review 1.68
Ylva Gavel9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Karolinska Institutet),
Lars Iselid1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Umeå University)
Purpose - The purpose of this research is to provide the scientific community with some quantitative data of relevance to the evaluation of two major citation databases. In addition, various aspects of the methodology of database coverage comparisons are discussed. Design/methodology/approach - Calculations of the overlaps between the journal lists of Web of Science and Scopus and some other major scientific databases are presented. Findings - The results provide some measures of the overall tit...
103 Citations Source Cite
Cited By188
Published on May 1, 2016in Journal of Informetrics 3.48
Ludo Waltman37
Estimated H-index: 37
(Leiden University)
Citation impact indicators nowadays play an important role in research evaluation, and consequently these indicators have received a lot of attention in the bibliometric and scientometric literature. This paper provides an in-depth review of the literature on citation impact indicators. First, an overview is given of the literature on bibliographic databases that can be used to calculate citation impact indicators (Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar). Next, selected topics in the literat...
176 Citations Source Cite
Published on May 1, 2016in Journal of Informetrics 3.48
Qi Wang1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Royal Institute of Technology),
Ludo Waltman37
Estimated H-index: 37
(Leiden University)
Journal classification systems play an important role in bibliometric analyses. The two most important bibliographic databases, Web of Science and Scopus, each provide a journal classification system. However, no study has systematically investigated the accuracy of these classification systems. To examine and compare the accuracy of journal classification systems, we define two criteria on the basis of direct citation relations between journals and categories. We use Criterion I to select journ...
38 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 25, 2016in Research Evaluation 2.45
Philippe Mongeon8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Université de Montréal),
Christine Brodeur1
Estimated H-index: 1
(École Polytechnique de Montréal)
+ 1 AuthorsVincent Larivière35
Estimated H-index: 35
(Université de Montréal)
In most countries, basic research is supported by research councils that select, after peer review, the individuals or teams that are to receive funding. Unfortunately, the number of grants these research councils can allocate is not infinite and, in most cases, a minority of the researchers receive the majority of the funds. However, evidence as to whether this is an optimal way of distributing available funds is mixed. The purpose of this study is to measure the relation between the amount of ...
11 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2016 in European Conference on Information Retrieval
Giovanni Colavizza4
Estimated H-index: 4
(École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne),
Matteo Romanello5
Estimated H-index: 5
(École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne),
Frédéric Kaplan22
Estimated H-index: 22
(École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)
The advent of large-scale citation services has greatly impacted the retrieval of scientific information for several domains of research. The Humanities have largely remained outside of this shift despite their increasing reliance on digital means for information seeking. Given that publications in the Humanities probably have a longer than average life-span, mainly due to the importance of monographs in the field, we propose to use domain-specific reference monographs to bootstrap the enrichmen...
1 Citations
Published on May 19, 2016in PLOS ONE 2.77
Jeong-Wook Seo23
Estimated H-index: 23
(Seoul National University),
Hosik Chung2
Estimated H-index: 2
+ 3 AuthorsYuri Ahn1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Seoul National University)
Articles from open access and local journals are important resources for research in Korea and the usage trends of these articles are important indicators for the assessment of the current research practice. We analyzed an institutional collection of published papers from 1998 to 2014 authored by researchers from Seoul National University, and their references from papers published between 1998 and 2011. The published papers were collected from Web of Science or Scopus and were analyzed accordin...
3 Citations Source Cite
Published on Aug 1, 2016in Scientometrics 2.17
José M. Merigó39
Estimated H-index: 39
(University of Chile),
Christian A. Cancino4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Chile)
+ 1 AuthorsDavid Urbano22
Estimated H-index: 22
(Autonomous University of Barcelona)
Many countries are investing a lot in innovation in order to modernize their economies. A key step in this process is the development of academic research in innovation. This article analyzes the leading countries in innovation research between 1989 and 2013 from an academic perspective. The aim of the study is to identify the most relevant countries in this field and the leading trends that are occurring during the last years. The work also introduces a general perspective analyzing the researc...
40 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 29, 2016in F1000Research
Heidi Holst Madsen (University of Copenhagen), Dicte Madsen (University of Copenhagen), Marianne Gauffriau1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Copenhagen)
Unique identifiers (UID) are seen as an effective tool to create links between identical publications in databases or identify duplicates in a database. The purpose of the present study is to investigate how well UIDs work for citation linking. We have two objectives: Explore the coverage, precision, and characteristics of publications matched versus not matched with UIDs as the match key. Illustrate how publication sets formed by using UIDs as the match key may affect the bibliometric indicator...
Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2017in Journal of Cleaner Production 5.65
Lara Bartocci Liboni Amui2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of São Paulo),
Charbel José Chiappetta Jabbour29
Estimated H-index: 29
(University of Stirling)
+ 1 AuthorsDevika Kannan26
Estimated H-index: 26
(University of Southern Denmark)
Abstract Sustainability is a managerial trend that plays an important role in the contemporary organizational strategy. A company's capability to make sustainability more dynamic and integrated with strategies, transforming it into a business asset, has yet to be studied. This process of adaptation is reflected through innovative practices. However, there is still a gap between these practices and the organization's strategies and capabilities. The aim of this work was to conduct a systematic li...
51 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 1, 2016in Journal of Cleaner Production 5.65
Eirini Aivazidou4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Aristotle University of Thessaloniki),
Naoum Tsolakis6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Cambridge)
+ 1 AuthorsDimitrios Vlachos19
Estimated H-index: 19
(Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
Freshwater overexploitation and scarcity have led to extensive shifts in demand patterns for water-friendly products. As several agricultural and industrial activities are closely intertwined with water consumption, the availability of sufficient freshwater resources constitutes a significant precondition for covering global consumer needs. In this context, the design and management of sustainable supply chains in terms of freshwater resources' preservation have emerged as major challenges in th...
19 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2016in Regional Studies, Regional Science
Teemu Makkonen9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University of Southern Denmark),
Allan M. Williams37
Estimated H-index: 37
(University of Surrey)
AbstractThe contemporary conditions of academic capitalism exert pressures on researchers to avoid ‘peripheral’ journals and ‘unfashionable’ topics. This paper sheds a light onto the structure of one such ‘offbeat’ field, namely ‘border region studies’, by discussing its geographical distribution, key themes, significance and impact. The review suggests that border region studies can be considered a significant and important ‘branch’ of regional studies, which accounts for a small but increasing...
3 Citations Source Cite