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Web of Science (WoS; previously known as Web of Knowledge) is a website that provides subscription-based access to multiple databases that provide comprehensive citation data for many different
academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. The usual test for a statement of fact is ...
s. It was originally produced by the
Institute for Scientific Information The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) was an academic publishing service, founded by Eugene Garfield in Philadelphia in 1956. ISI offered scientometric and bibliographic database services. Its specialty was citation indexing and analysis, ...
(ISI).It is currently maintained by
Clarivate Clarivate is a company formed in 2016, following the acquisition of Thomson Reuters Thomson Reuters Corporation () is a Canada-based multinational media conglomerate. The company was founded in Toronto, Ontario Toronto is the cap ...
(previously the Intellectual Property and Science business of
Thomson Reuters Thomson Reuters Corporation () is a Canadian-American . The company was founded in , , Canada, where it is headquartered at the . Thomson Reuters was created by the 's purchase of the British company in April 2008 and is majority owned ...
).


Background and history

A
citation index A citation index is a kind of bibliographic index A bibliographic index is a bibliography intended to help find a publication. Citations are usually listed by author and subject in separate sections, or in a single alphabetical sequence under a ...
is built on the fact that citations in science serve as linkages between similar research items, and lead to matching or related scientific literature, such as journal articles,
conference proceedings In academia and librarianship, conference proceeding is a collection of academic paper Academic publishing is the subfield of publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content availab ...
, abstracts, etc. In addition, literature that shows the greatest impact in a particular field, or more than one discipline, can be easily located through a citation index. For example, a paper's influence can be determined by linking to all the papers that have cited it. In this way, current trends, patterns, and emerging fields of research can be assessed.
Eugene Garfield Eugene Eli Garfield (September 16, 1925 – February 26, 2017) was an American linguist and businessman, one of the founders of bibliometrics and scientometrics. He helped to create ''Current Contents'', ''Science Citation Index'' (SCI), ''Journa ...
, the "father of citation indexing of academic literature," who launched the
Science Citation Index The Science Citation Index (SCI) is a citation index A citation index is a kind of bibliographic index, an index of citation A citation is a reference to a source. More precisely, a citation is an abbreviated alphanumeric expression embedded ...
(SCI), which in turn led to the Web of Science, wrote:


Search and analysis

Web of Science is described as a unifying research tool that enables the user to acquire, analyze, and disseminate database information in a timely manner. This is accomplished because of the creation of a common vocabulary, called
ontology Ontology is the branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality Reality is the sum o ...
, for varied search terms and varied data. Moreover, search terms generate related information across categories. Acceptable content for Web of Science is determined by an evaluation and selection process based on the following criteria: impact, influence, timeliness,
peer review Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work (). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant . Peer review methods ar ...
, and geographic representation. Web of Science employs various search and analysis capabilities. First, citation indexing is employed, which is enhanced by the capability to search for results across disciplines. The influence, impact, history, and
methodology Methodology is the study of research methods, or, more formally, "'a contextual framework' for research, a coherent and logical scheme based on views, beliefs, and values, that guides the choices researchers
r other users R, or r, is the eighteenth letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet The ISO basic Latin alphabet is a Latin-script alphabet A Latin-script alphabet (Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet) is an alphabet that ...
make". It comprise ...
of an idea can be followed from its first instance, notice, or referral to the present day. This technology points to a deficiency with the keyword-only method of searching. Second, subtle trends and patterns relevant to the literature or research of interest, become apparent. Broad trends indicate significant topics of the day, as well as the history relevant to both the work at hand, and particular areas of study. Third, trends can be graphically represented.Overview and Description
ISI Web of Knowledge. Thomson Reuters. 2010. Accessed on 2010-06-24


Coverage

Expanding the coverage of Web of Science, in November 2009 Thomson Reuters introduced ''Century of Social Sciences''. This service contains files which trace social science research back to the beginning of the 20th century,"''Thomson Reuters introduces century of social sciences''". Information Today 26.10 (2009): 10. General OneFile. Web. 23 June 2010.
Document URL
Thomson Reuters introduces century of social sciences." Computers in Libraries 29.10 (2009): 47. General OneFile. Internet. 23 June 2010
Document URL
/ref> and Web of Science now has indexing coverage from the year 1900 to the present. , the multidisciplinary coverage of the Web of Science encompasses 12,000 high impact journals and 160,000 conference proceedings. The selection is made on the basis of impact evaluations and comprise
open-access journal Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research outputs are distributed online, free of cost or other access barriers. With open access strictly defined (according to the 2001 definition), or Gratis versu ...
s, spanning multiple
academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. The usual test for a statement of fact is ...
s. The coverage includes: the
science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (procedural knowledge), or objects ...

science
s,
social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biol ...

social science
s,
arts The arts refers to the theory, human application and physical expression of creativity Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something somehow new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scienti ...
, and humanities, and goes across disciplines. However, Web of Science does not index all journals. There is a significant and positive correlation between
Impact Factor#REDIRECT Impact factor The impact factor (IF) or journal impact factor (JIF) of an academic journal is a scientometric index calculated by Clarivate that reflects the yearly average number of citations of articles published in the last two years ...
and
CiteScoreCiteScore (CS) of an academic journal An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial publications that appear in a new edi ...
. However, an analysis by
Elsevier Elsevier () is a Netherlands-based publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and ...

Elsevier
, who created the journal evaluation metric CiteScore, has identified 216 journals from 70 publishers to be in the top 10 percent of the most-cited journals in their subject category based on the
CiteScoreCiteScore (CS) of an academic journal An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial publications that appear in a new edi ...
while they did not have
Impact Factor#REDIRECT Impact factor The impact factor (IF) or journal impact factor (JIF) of an academic journal is a scientometric index calculated by Clarivate that reflects the yearly average number of citations of articles published in the last two years ...
.
Survey by Elsevier
It appears that
Impact Factor#REDIRECT Impact factor The impact factor (IF) or journal impact factor (JIF) of an academic journal is a scientometric index calculated by Clarivate that reflects the yearly average number of citations of articles published in the last two years ...
does not provide comprehensive and unbiased coverage of high-quality journals. Similar results can be observed by comparing
Impact Factor#REDIRECT Impact factor The impact factor (IF) or journal impact factor (JIF) of an academic journal is a scientometric index calculated by Clarivate that reflects the yearly average number of citations of articles published in the last two years ...
with SCImago Journal Rank. Furthermore, as of September 3, 2014 the total file count of the Web of Science was 90 million records, which included over a billion cited references. This citation service on average indexes around 65 million items per year, and it is described as the largest accessible citation database. Bulleted fact sheet
Thomson Reuters. 2014.
Titles of foreign-language publications are translated into English and so cannot be found by searches in the original language. In 2018, Web of Science started embedding partial information about the open access status of works, using Unpaywall data.


Citation databases

The Web of Science Core Collection consists of six online databases: *Science Citation Index Expanded covers more than 8,500 notable journals encompassing 150 disciplines. Coverage is from the year 1900 to the present day. *Social Sciences Citation Index covers more than 3,000 journals in social science disciplines. Range of coverage is from the year 1900 to the present day. *Arts & Humanities Citation Index covers more than 1,700 arts and humanities journals starting from 1975. In addition, 250 major scientific and social sciences journals are also covered. *Emerging Sources Citation Index covers over 5,000 journals in the sciences, social science, and humanities. *Book Citation Index covers more than 60,000 editorially selected books starting from 2005. *Conference Proceedings Citation Index (CPCI) covers more than 160,000 conference titles in the Sciences starting from 1990 to the present day


Regional databases

Since 2008, the Web of Science hosts a number of regional citation indices: * Chinese Science Citation Database, produced in partnership with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was the first one in a language other than English; * SciELO Citation Index, established in 2013, covering Brazil, Spain, Portugal, the Caribbean and South Africa, and more 12 countries of Latin America; * Korea Citation Index (KCI) in 2014, with updates from the Korea Research Foundation, South Korean National Research Foundation; * Russian Science Citation Index in 2015; * Arabic Regional Citation Index (ARCI) in 2020.


Contents

The seven citation index, citation indices listed above contain references which have been cited by other articles. One may use them to undertake cited reference search, that is, locating articles that cite an earlier, or current publication. One may search citation databases by topic, by author, by source title, and by location. Two chemistry databases, ''Index Chemicus'' and ''Current Chemical Reactions'' allow for the creation of structure drawings, thus enabling users to locate chemical compounds and reactions.


Abstracting and indexing

The following types of literature are indexed: scholarly books,
peer review Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work (). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant . Peer review methods ar ...
ed journals, original research articles, reviews, editorials, chronologies, abstracts, as well as other items. Disciplines included in this index are agriculture, biological sciences, engineering, medical and life sciences, physics, physical and chemical sciences, anthropology, law, library sciences, architecture, dance, music, film, and theater. Seven citation databases encompasses coverage of the above disciplines.


Limitations in the use of citation analysis

As with other scientific approaches, scientometrics and bibliometrics have their own limitations. In 2010, a criticism was voiced pointing toward certain deficiencies of the journal impact factor (JIF) calculation process, based on Thomson Reuters Web of Science, such as: journal citation distributions usually are highly skewed towards established journals; journal impact factor properties are field-specific and can be easily manipulated by editors, or even by changing the editorial policies; this makes the entire process essentially non-transparent.San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment: Putting science into the assessment of research, December 16, 2012
/ref> Regarding the more objective journal metrics, there is a growing view that for greater accuracy it must be supplemented with article-level metrics and peer-review. Thomson Reuters replied to criticism in general terms by stating that "no one metric can fully capture the complex contributions scholars make to their disciplines, and many forms of scholarly achievement should be considered."


''Journal Citation Reports''


See also

* arXiv * CiteSeerX * CSA (database company), CSA databases * Dialog (online database) * Energy Citations Database * Energy Science and Technology Database * ETDEWEB * Google Scholar * h-index * Indian Citation Index * J-Gate * List of academic journal search engines * Materials Science Citation Index * PASCAL (database), PASCAL database * PubMed Central * Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale * ResearchGate * SciELO * Scopus * SCImago Journal Rank * Serbian Citation Index * VINITI Database RAS


References


External links


About Web of Science

Web of Science

Searching the Citation Indexes (Web of Science)
Harvard College Library. 2010. (archive)
MIT Web of Science video tutorial
2008. {{DEFAULTSORT:Web Of Science Bibliographic databases and indexes Online databases Clarivate Analytics