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CHEM 184/284 (Chemical Literature) - Huber - Winter 2024: Lecture 9

A two-credit course in the techniques and tools for effective searching the literature of chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering and related fields.

Lecture 9: Citations, Part 1 - Searching Them, Web of Science

Citation -Why It is So Important in Scholarly Publishing

  • Anyone writing a scholarly paper - from a three-page paper for a freshman writing class, to a 500-page doctoral dissertation - is expected to properly cite his or her sources.  That means, providing in clear and understandable fashion, the information that a reader of the paper would need to track down that source material.  for example, citing a printed journal article, one should provide the author(s) name(s), the article title, the journal title, volume, issue, date of publication and page numbers.
  • But why is this expected?
    1. Attribution - If you have used information from someone else, you are expected to give the original source credit.  Not to do so, even if the original source is in the public domain, is plagiarism, a serious ethical offense in the scholarly world.  You would be, in effect, taking credit for someone else's hard work.  Moreover, how often a person's work is cited is considered a valuable measure of its importance to its field of research.
    2. Verification - If you have used information which is not completely presented in your paper, the reader must be able to go back and check the original sources, both to see whether you have reported the information accurately and to check how the original source gathered the information.
    3. Searchability - While this may not be important for that three-page freshman paper, most scholarly authors want to maximize the likelihood that others working in their field will be able to discover their work.  With the existence of databases whch index cited references (see below), a proper citation of a relevant source can mean that other scholars seeking to find papers which build on that previous research will find your paper.
  • An interesting point-of-view on the ethics of citations and their uses is Prof. Jan Reedijk's editorial in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, "Citations and Ethics",
  • Proper citation requires adherence to a consistent citation style.  See Part II of this lecture for details.

Citation Searching

  • Like any other piece of information in a document (keywords, authors, journal name, etc.), the cited references in a document can be indexed and made searchable.
  • Cited reference searching is particularly useful because it allows the searcher to follow the intellectual trail of an idea or method, from one document to the documents that cite it and vice versa.
  • Cited reference indexing was introduced to scholarly publishing by the renowned information scientist, Dr. Eugene Garfield.  Inspired by the use of cited precedents in legal decisions, Garfield's company, the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), launched Science Citation Index in 1964.  With its success, ISI developed similar products for the social sciences, the arts and humaniities, procedigns, etc. and products which analyzed citation patterns for authors and journals (see Part III of this lecture.)
  • Electronic versions of Science Citation Index became available on various platforms.  Eventually, a Web interface version called Web of Science, combining the science, social science and humanities citation indices in a single product.  After ISI's purchase by Thomson Scientific (later part of Thomson Reuters), the interface was applied to more databases. Web of Science and its sister databases are now owned by Clarivate Analytics (
  • Other databases (most notably Chemical Abstracts/SciFinder), Google Scholar and Scopus, offer various types of cited reference linking or searching, but Web of Science remains the premier tool for citation searching.

Web of Science (core collection) (

  • The Web of Science core collection is Clarivate Analytics's Web interface to its main citation databases. It is now part of their umbrella interface, the Web of Science . At present, the only Web of Science products to which the UC system subscribes are Web of Science core collection, BIOSIS, Derwent Innovations Index), Data Citation Index, Preprint Citation Index (for all, see Lecture 8,  Grants Index, Zoological RecordCurrent Contents Connect and Journal Citation Reports (JCR, about which, see Part III of this lecture.).  We also currently have free access to MEDLINE, the Korean Journal Database, and SciELO Citation Index (SciELO is a collection of free online scholarly jourals,primarily from Latin America.)  Clicking the All Databases tab allows you to simultaneously search all subscribed Web of Knowledge databases. Note, however, that All Databases searching uses only the search features with the databases have in common, making it somewhat of a lowest-common-denominator search.
  • The core collection includes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, Conference Proceedings Citation Index - Science, Conference Proceedings Citation Index - Humanities and Social Science, Book Citation Index - Science, Book Citation Index - Humanities and Social Science, Current Chemical Reactions and Index Chemicus.
  • In addition to the Core Collection, the drop-down Search in menu includes: BIOSIS Citation Index (see Lecture 8), BIOSIS Previews (essentially the same, but without cited reference searching), Current Contents Connect (compiles tables of contents from scholarly journals), Data Citation Index (indexes datasets, and allows you to find articles which cite them), Derwent Innovations Index (see Lecture 8), KCI - Korean Journal Database (like Web of Science, but focused on Korean journals, some of which do not appear in the Core Collection database), MEDLINE (same database as PubMed, but using the WoS interface), Russian Science Citation Index (focuses on Russian journals), SciELO Citation Index (focuses on Latin American journals afailable as open access), Zoological Record (in-depth index to the literature of zoology and animal biology; complements BIOSis Citation Index).
  • This service is available by institutional subscription only at this time. The University of California has a current subscription to Web of Science, accessible at from any address. The UCSB Library has purchased the Science Citation Index Expanded backfiles back to 1945. with no limit on simultaneous users in the UC system.
  • Besides the overview below, you may wished to take a look at Thomson Reuters's recorded training sessions at
  • Database overview
    • Scope
      • Scholarly literature, covering humanities, social sciences and sciences, excepting legal journals.
    • Comprehensiveness
      • Journals -- around 13,000 journal titles, of those, about 8,300 of which are in the sciences.  Note that Web of Science limits its coverage to the "top" journals in each field, as determined by citation statistics.  So, more obscure journals in a given field, or new journals that have not yet established a citation track record, may not be included in Web of Science
      • Conference proceedings and books
      • Chemical reactions from "leading" journals and 36 patent issuing authorities
      • Chemical substances, with supporting data, for novel organic substances reported in the journal literature.
    • Chronological coverage
      • Journals: Sciences: 1900-present (UCSB has 1945-present only). Social Sciences: 1900-present. Arts & Humanities: 1975-present
      • Articles indexed about two weeks after publication date.
      • Conference proceedings: 1990-present
      • Books: 2005-present
      • Chemical reactions: Mainly 1985-present, plus about 140,000 records from the French patent literature from 1840-present.
      • Chemical substances: 1993-present
    • Access points
      • First, look at the options under the Documents tab:
      • Basic Search (see opening screen below): Topic (searches keywords in the article title, abstract and author's keywords , where available), Title, Author,  Publication Titles, Year Published, Affiliation,funding Agency,  Publisher, Publication Date, Abstract, Accession Number, Address, Author Identifiers (see below), Author Keywords, Conference, Document Type, DOI, Editor, Funding Agency, Grant Number, Group Author, Keyword Plus, Language, PubMed ID, Web of Science Categories,  or combinations of the above.
      • You may add additional search lines, or a date range to the search.


Web of Science core collection opening screen



  • Cited Reference Search:  Clicking on the Cited Reference tab allow searching by Cited Author, Cited Work, Cited DOI, Cited Year(s), Cited Volume, Cited Issue, Cited Page(s), Cited Title or any combination of the above (see screenshot below.)  For further information on Cited Reference Searching, see the Using Web of Science section below.

Web of Science cited reference search screen

  • Advanced Search: Clicking the Advanced Search link below the Basic Search window takes you to the screen below.  You may enter a complex search query using the two-letter tags to select a search field, and Boolean operators and parentheses to combine them.  Example (TS=vitamin* OR TS=common cold) AND AU=pauling l*
  • You may also use line numbers from previous searches in the session as search terms. Example (#1 NOT #2) AND CI=Santa Barbara
  • Limits: In addition to timespan and databases, Advanced Search allows you to limit by Language and/or Document Type.
  • Notice that all of the basic search fields are available, but the cited reference search terms are not.  You can, however, do a cited reference search beforehand, and take its search number from the search history and combine it in an advanced search.
  • Web of Science advanced search screen

  • Structure Search: Drawn structures or substructures, plus (see dropdown menu under the structure drawing screen) Compound Name, Compound Biological Activity, Molecular Weight, Reaction Data: Atmosphere, Pressure, Time, Temperature, Product Yield, Reaction Keyphrases, Reaction Comments.
  • The structure search searches information from the Index Chemicus and Current Chemical Reaction databases which has been linked to the Web of Science database.
  • Unfortunately, Web of Science includes little detailed help information for the structure drawing tool, so you need to learn how to use it by trial and error. The upper menu bar includes cut, paste and copy tools, undo and redo, and templates for a variety of ring structures, ntiro and carboxylic groups.  The left menu bar includes tools for lassoing and rotating structures, erasing, atom-by atom drawing, specifying elements, specifying atom and bod properties, selecting bond type (single, double, etc.), drawing chains, drawing stereo bonds, reaction symbols, atom mapping for reaction searches, and generics (R groups.)  The bottom menu bar has commonly used atoms and variable groups.
  • You can combine the structure or reaction diagrams with the data fields below the structure drawing window to futher refine your search.
  • For an example, see below in the Searching section.

Web of Science structure search screen, part 1

Web of Science structure search screen, part 2

  • Clicking on the Researchers tab reveals:
  • Name Search: You can enter last names and first names and variants of the names.
  • Author Identifiers: Lets you search by ResearcherID or ORCID.
  • Organization - You may limit search to most recent publications, past 4 years or all publication.. As you type an organization name, a menu of possible organizations will appear. Note that not all forms of an organization's name will appear. For example, "UCSB" is not in the index, but "University of California - Santa Barbara" is.
  • Research Results may be filtered by:
    • Highly Cited Researchers
    • Includes Web of Science Core Collection Publications
    • Includes peer reviews
    • Includes editor records
    • Claimed Status (Authors may claim their profieles, and offer corrections to them.)
    • Author Name
    • Organizations
    • Subject Categories
    • Countries/Regions

Web of Science researcher search screen

Here's an example of a claimed researcher profile:

Web of Science researcher profile for Suzanne Stemmer, part 1

Web of Science researcher profile for Suzanne Stmmer, part 2

Web of Science researcher profile for Suzanne Stemmer, part 3

Web of Sciene researcher profile for Suzanne Stemmer, part 4

Web of Science researcher profile for Suzanne Stemmer, part 5


General Search features

  • Truncation -- * represents any number of characters, usually used at the end of a word, ? represents exactly one character, $ represents one or zero characters.
  • Lemmatization - This is an automatic feature which searches for singular/plural forms and alternate spellings of terms, e.g. color and colour.  It is not applied to terms in quotation marks, and it can be turned off at will using the Search Settings options.
  • Boolean operators - AND, OR, NOT available. Parentheses may be used for grouping terms.
  • Proximity --  Default search of multiple words assumes the words are a phrase. The FAST search engine automatically combines multiple terms entered without quotation marks with an implied AND.  The operator NEAR requires the terms to both be in the title, the author keywords, or the same sentence of the abstract, and is available for Topic and Title searching. The SAME operator is used in the Address field to require that terms be in the same address.
  • Stopwords -- The Web of Science platform now searches all entered terms, including "a", "an", "the", prepositions, etc. There are no stopwords.
  • Combining searches -- Can do so in advanced search.

Display features

Web of Science search results for quantum dot, part 1
Web of Science search results for quantum dot, part 2

Web of Sciene search results for quantum dot, part 3

Web of Science search results for quantum dot, part 4

Web of Science search results for quantum dot, part 5

Web of Science search results for quantum dot, part 6

  • On the top row, note the Search Box, Analyze Results (see below), Citation Report (see below) and Create Alert. You must be logged inot your personal Web of Science account to create search alers.
  • Next tow: Search Box, used for modifying the search. Below it are options to Add Keywords, and a list of suggested Quick Keywords. In this case, carbon dots, graphene quantum dots, etc.
  • Next row: The Publications tab displays your current search results. the You may also like... tab suggests additional results related to your search results.  On the right, the Copy Query Link option lets you create a link which will recreate the search query later.
  • \By default, results are sorted by Relevance. You may use the drop-down menu to alternatively sort by Recently added. Citation Class (see below), Date (oldest or newest first), number of Citations (highest or lowest first), Usage (highest or lowest first), , Conference name (A to Z or Z to A) (A to Z or Z to A) ,  and Publication title (A to Z or Z to A).
    • Citation Class is a new feature that lets you sort results by how they have been most frequently cited: as Background, Basis, Support, Differ or Discuss.
  • Above the results list: Add to marked list lets you create a list of selected results which may be printed or exported.
  • Export lets you export selected results in a variey of formats, inlcuing EndNOte online, EndNote desktop, plain text (.TXT), .RIS and Excel.
  • Each record in the list displays the Title (article title, highlighted, linked to the full document record); Author(s) (in the order given in the orignal paper), Source (journal title, volume, issue, pages and DOI, where available), Published (date of publication of the journal issue, not necessarily the date the article first appeared online) and Times Cited. Usage Count reflects the number of time that users have clicked through to the full text of an article from the Web of Science databases. This value is updated daily.
  • Each record has a Get it at UC link. Linking to electronic journals, catalog and interlibrary loan requests is available via UC-eLinks as in most UC-subscribed databases. Some records also have a direct link to the publisher's website. Links may also show connections to open access repositories if available.The three dots icon opens a dropdown menu with options to Add to marked list; Copy accession number; Copy article link; View Related Records (see below) and View Cited References.
  • Refine  features: Web of Science displays a number of Refine options along the left-hand side of the results display.
    • Quick Filers: You may search for terms within the answer set using the left-hand search box.
    • You may filter results to Highly Cited in Field (that is, papers in the answer set that are highly cited relative to others in the same discipline); Hot Papers; Review Articles; Early AccessOpen Access (that is, appearing in open access journals, or in open access repositories) and Associated Data, that is papers which link to data sets in open access data repositories., Enriched Cited References, Open publisher-invited reviews.
    • The other filter options will list the top five items from the answer sets. Clicking on See all... will display a table of all of the possibilities ranked in descending order of occurrence. From the table, you may limit to, or exclude selected items from your results.
    • Refinement by
      • Publication Year allows you to select one or more years to which to limit the answer set.  
    • By default, the top 5 , 
      • Document Types, such as Article, Review, Conference Paper, etc.
      • Researcher Profiles - essentially limits by author
      • Web of Science Categories (Note: In WoS, these are assigned to journals, not to individual articles!), ,
      • Citation Topics, Meso - Medium specificity categories, such as Caron nanotubes, Semiconductor physics
      • Citation Topcs, Micro - Narrower subject categories, such as Quantum dots, GaAs, Aptamers
      • Web of Science Index - Indicates which of the files in the Core Collection the artilce appears in.
      • Affiliations (that is, organizations at which the authors were employed) are displayed, but you may select 
      • Affiliation with Department - Narrows the affiliation by department, if specified in the article.
      • Publication Titles
      • Languages
      • Countries/Regions
      • Publishers
      • Research Areas - broad categories such as Chemistry, Physics, etc.
      • Open Access - not just open or closed, but type of open access, such as Gold, Gold Hybrid, Free to Read, etc.
      • Filter by Marked List - Lets you narrow the answe set to those you have marked. You can then perform other operation on your marked list.
      • Funding Agencies
      • Conference Titles
      •  Group Authors
      • Book Series Titles
      • Editors
      • Editorial Notieces - includes concepts like Retractions, Expressions of Concern
      • Sustainable Development Goals - such as "Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure"

Full Document Record

Web of Science quantum communication full record, part 1

Web of Science full record quantum communication, part 2

Web of Science full record quantum communication, part 3

Web of Science full record quantum communication, part 4

Web of Science full record quantum communication, part 5

Web of Science full record quantum communication, part 6

  • Each full document record displays the full bibliographic information for the item: article title, author(s), source (journal title, volume, issue, pages and DOI where available), date of publication, date of indexing, document type, conference (if applicable)  Also at the top of the record is a Get it at UC button, a Look Up Full Text (in Google Scholar) button,  
  • Abstract (as provided by the original article)
  • Keywords - also author-supplied.
  • Author information. Note that the author information includes a link to the author(s) Researcher ID and/or ORCID where available. Those numbers are hotlinked to the respective ResearchID and ORCID webpages. The email address, if available, is also hotlinked.
  • Below that, for journal records, is a link to information about the journal: journal subject category, publisher, ISSN and impact factor.
  • Categories/ Classification - Thes are the broad, medium and narrow classifications described as Research Areas, Citation Topics Meso, Citation Topics Micro  and Sustainable Development Goals in the filers listing above.The latter three are hotlinked.
  • Web of Scine Categories - These are the subject ctegories assigned to the journal, not to the individual article.
  • Additional information about the journal  includes the ISSn, current publisher journal impact factor and subject informaiton.t
  • Below that is the list of cited references (not shown on this page.) Each reference links to its full WoS record, where available, and to "Get It at UC" and other full-text links as available.  Also given are the number of citations to the reference, and the number of references it contains (if avilable).. 
  • On the right of the display is the Citation Record, with links to citing records, cited records, related records, with a link for creating a citation alert for this article),  as well as a link for submitting corrections if you find an error in a record. Below that are links to most recent citing articles, and to usage count information.
  • View Related Records - Pulls up an answer set of all the citations in the database which have cited at least one of the references in the parent record, ranked by how may references they have in common. Theres may have been published before, after or at the same time as the parent record - a unique way to "find more like this".
  • You May Also Like - Suggested similr references.
  • Most Recently Cited In -  lself-explanatory
  • Usage in Web of Science - The number of times the full record has been viewed in the past 30 days and pst 10 years. Note that this is not equivalent to counts of how often the article has been downloaded, or viewed on the publisher's website.
  • This Record is from - lists which parts of the Core Collection the article was indexed by.
  • Suggest a Correction - self-explanatory

Customization Features

  • The interface language drop-down menu lets you view the WoS screens in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese or Spanish.
  • Users can register to use the personalized features of Web of Science.  Click on the Sign In tab (see opening screen above.)
  • If you have already registered, enter the e-mail address you used to register and your password.
  • If you have not registered, click the Register link under "Customize Your Experience". You will first be prompted to enter an e-mail address; if you are already registered at that e-mal address, you will be reminded of that, and taken to a login screen. If not, you will go to the registration screen below, where you can create a password, to be able to save search histories within Web of Science, create e-mail alert searches, and use EndNote Web and ResearcherID.

Web of Science user registration screen, part 1

Web of Science user registration screen, part 2

Help Features

  • Clicking on the Help (upper right hand side of screen) link takes you to context-sensitive help. That is, if you are on the Keyword Search screen when you click Help, you get help on that type of searching; if you are on the Citation List screen, you get help for displaying and selecting citations.
  • Once you've entered Help, you can click on the Help Index link to view an alphabetical list of all Help topics, or the Help Table of Contents for a structured list.
  • There is no Search function for Help topics.

© 2024 Charles F. Huber

Creative Commons License
This work by Charles F. Huber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

Screenshots are copyright © 2020 Clarivate Analytics and are used under fair use for educational purposes only.

Using Web of Science

Using Web of Science


  • Refer to the screenshot of the Web of Science opening screen above.
  • To begin your search, enter your term(s) on the "Search" window or select "Cited Reference Search" or "Advanced Search" options.
  • You may narrow the search by selecting any combination of the three files (SCIE, AHCI, SSCI) that you wish to search by clicking on the "Change Limits and Settings" link. Most searches only need to be run in one file but some interdisciplinary fields (e.g. science policy, psychology of art, music and the brain) may benefit from searching multiple files.
  • Then, you may select the chronological range to be searched. The default is to search all available years. To select specific years, first click on "Year", then select a year. For a range of years, use the "From" and "to" boxes. Note that not all years shown are available for all three files here at UCSB.
  • See the screen image above: To enter a term for searching, select the search field desired (Topic, Title, Author, Group Author, Publication Name, Year Published, Address, Language or Document Type), then type in the term or terms you wish to search in the field. Up to three search term/field combinations may be used on the screen as is. If you need more, click the "Add Another Field" link.

    For examples, see specific types of searches below.

  • Topic
    • Topic searches will look for your terms in the title as well as the abstract and added keywords if available. Abstracts, keywords and KeywordsPlus are only available from 1991 to present, so searches of earlier literature will search the article title only.
    • Remember that, unless turned off, WoS's lemmatization feature will automatically search alternate forms of words that you enter as search terms. It is usually more specific than truncation.  For example, child will automaticaly pick up children, but not childhood, whereas child* would get all three.
    • To search title words alone, select Title as your field.
    • Examples:
      • nuclear quadrupole magnetic resonance -- will search for that exact phrase
      • nuclear and quadrupole and magnetic and resonance -- will search for those four terms in any combination
      • brief history of time will find any phrase beginning with "brief history" and ending with "time" with up to one words in between.
      • child* and abus* will search for any combination of child, children, etc. and abuse, abuses, abusive, etc.
      • analys?s same (buckminsterfuller* or fuller*) will search for any combination of analysis or analyses with buckminsterfullerene, fullerene, fullerenes, fulleranes, fullerites, etc. in the same sentence.
      • plasma not blood will search for any records containing the word plasma but excluding the word blood.
  • Author
    • Author names in the earlier years of the database are listed with last name first, followed by first initial and middle initials if present. Examples: KOHN W, BRUICE PY, KEATING HRF
    • Beginning in 2011, Web of Science indexed the full names of authors.  Searching by initials will pick up the full names as well.
    • To verify author names, click on the magnifying glass icon next to the Author field box and browse the list of authors in the database, or use the Author Finder search.
    • To search for authors whose first name is unknown, just enter the last name. Where the first initial is known, but the middle initial is unknown or possibly not used, use the asterisk. Example: BRUICE P*
    • SCI lists all authors of a paper, so you can combine author names to home in on a co-authored paper. Example: WATSON and CRICK
    • Remember that more than one author may have the same last name and initials. In some cases you may want to throw in an address term or phrase, but be aware that this may exclude some papers you want.
    • Also remember that in some cases, one journal may use all of an author's initials, but another journal may use only the first initial.
    • Be careful with compound last names; they are usually run together without spaces or punctuation (but not always.)
    • With some ambiguous names, you may have to try different combinations of names and initials. Example, Uzonyi Kiss Sandor may be indexed as Uzonyi, KS; Kiss, SU or Sandor, UK. This ambiguity happens most often with authors whose languages may list the family name first and the given name(s) second.
  • Author Identifiers
    • This can be used as an unambiguous way to search for a specific author, if the author has registered and listed his/her papers in ResearcherID or ORCID and if you know the ResearcherID or ORCID to search for.  See more about Researcher ID below.
  • Group Author(Collective Authors)
    • Use this option to search for papers authored by a collective entity or a very large group of individual authors.
    • Words in this field are often highly abbreviated. Click the lind for "group author index" to browse the list and see proper formats for your desired group.
  • Editor Works the same as author searching, but applies to editors of books or other collected works.
  • Publication Name(i.e., Journal Name)
    • This field in General Search uses the unabbreviated version of the journal title. However, the ISI version of the title may not be the same as the one you are familiar with. Consult the journal title list available from the magnifying glass link next to the "Publication Title" field box.
    • You may search by full title or by keywords from the title.
  • DOI (Digital Object Identifier) - DOIs provide a stable way of linking to online journal articles and other digital objects.  Why would you want to look up an article in Web of Science if you already have its DOI?  Most likely, to take advantage of the ability to find citing, cited and/or related records.
  • Year Published - Can use single year, multiple years with OR, or range of years.
  • Address
    • Addresses are heavily abbreviated in WoS. However, you can now search the full words as well - searching abbreviations works, but is not required for full retrieval.
    • Remember that a set of terms may pull up more than one address: UNIV and CA and LOS ANGELES will pick up not only UCLA but also USC and Cal State - Los Angeles.
    • Similarly, names of departments can be ambiguous. Searching SANTA BARBARA and CHEM will pick up both the chemistry and chemical engineering departments of UCSB.
    • Combining terms with SAME instead of AND will increase the precision of your search.
  • Language -- Default is all languages; if you select this field, a drop down menu of languages will appear. You may select more than one language by holding the Ctrl key while clicking on the desired languages.
  • Document Type -- Default is all document types. Selecting this field activates a drop-down menu, as with Language above.
  • Funding Agency -- You may search by full names or portions of a name. If an agency's name is frequently abbreviated, search by both the full name and abbreviation ORed together for comprehesiveness.
  • Grant Number -- If a grant number appeared in the funding acknowledgement of the paper, you can search for it here.
  • Accession Number -- This is the ID number assigned to a document by Web of Science when it is indexed.  It is unlikely that you'll ever need to search this.
  • PubMed ID: Searches for a specfic article using its PubMed ID number.

Cited Reference Search

  • Refer to the Cited Reference Search Screen above.
  • The basic cited reference index in WoS lists cited articles by the first author, journal title, volume, starting page and date of publication. The author, publication name, and publication date are searchable.
  • Cited references are listed as they appear in the citing publication, with no effort to clear up errors introduced by the citing authors. As a result, the same cited article may be listed in several different ways.
  • While only the first author of any paper is indexed directly, Web of Science adds value by cross-referencing source articles which are indexed in WoS, enabling one to locate many, though not all, articles by the names of second, third, etc., authors.
  • Searching for cited references is a two-step process.
    • First, enter your search terms (cited author, cited work, cited year) then click on Search. This will take you to a list of cited references which meet your criteria. The list is in alphabetical order, first by cited author, then by cited work, then in reverse chronological order. Note that the system will display a maximum of 500 cited references.  Below is an example of searching for Cited Author = bruice tc and Cited Year = 2000.
    • Note that "cited work" journal titles are heavily abbreviated. There is a linked list of abbreviations you can consult, but these abbreviations are not used consistently. Be careful when using a "cited work" search that you don't miss relevant possibilities.
    • Below is a page of the results from a search of "Bruice T*" as cited author and "1990-1992" as cited year.

Web of Science cited reference selection, part I
Web of Science cited reference selection, part II
Web of Science cited reference selection, part III

Web of Science cited reference selection, part 4

  • When you go to the Cited Reference Selection display, you may select which cited references you wish to search. References may be selected individually by clicking on the box to the left of the reference. Clicking the Select Page button selects all of the references on that page only. Select All selects the first 500 references in your lookup set.
  • The cited reference list displays the cited author's name(s), cited work, year, volume, page, DOI (where available), the number of citing articles (note that this is the total number and is not affected by any limits you may have selected) and a "View Record" link where available.
  • If the author you searched was the first author of the paper, only her/his name will be listed.  If the author searched was not the first author, then both the first author's name and the searched author's name, but not any others.
  • References on the "Step 1" display which have a "View Record" link have themselves been indexed in WoS. Clicking on the link will take you to the record for that document. Where the "View Record" link does not appear, it is usually because (a) the journal is not indexed by WoS, or (b) the citation is in some manner erroneous, so it did not link to the article intended.
  • Note that some cited references may be listed multiple times.  This may occur if different citing authors cited different page numbers - this frequently happens with citations to book or book chapters.  Alternatively it may occur if the citing autor made a mistake in one or more elements of the citation.  Note also, that if the citing author misspelled the name of the author whom you are searching, you will not find the citation even thought it existed in the database.
  • Note also that it is from this screen that you can apply language or document type limits to your Cited Reference search.
  • When you have selected all the desired items, then click on the Finish Search button to carry out the search.

Structure Searching

Web of Science structure search, part 1

Web of Science structure search, part 2

  • Searching by structure, or by compound information or reaction data yields a list of reactions. Note that Web of Science requires you t register and log in to use structure searching.
  • Records may be printed or downloaded from the list.
  • Clicking the Full Record link for a reaction will take you to the Web of Science full record for the source document.
  • Clicking the Reaction Detail link takes you to the reaction record display.

Web of Science reaction detail, part 1

Web of Science reaction detail, part 2

Using Search History

  • Clicking the "Search History" tab takes you to a screen that lists all the searches you have conducted in Web of Science in the current session.  See example below.

Web of Science search history screen

  • The Search History screen allows you to view the search history of your session, including both General and Cited Reference searches.
  • You may combine any searches shown by set number, selecting Boolean operators (AND, OR) and checking the desired searches.Note that this can be done in a more sophisticated fashion in the Advanced Search screen.
  • You may also delete unwanted searches from the history by marking them and clicking the Delete button at lower right.
  • To jump to the results of any of your searches, including the results of combined searches, click on the highlighted number of results in the second column of appropriate row of the search history table.
  • To save the search history or create an alert search, click on Save History/Create Alert and follow the instructions. You will need to log in using your Web of Knowledge e-mail and password.  If you are not already logged in, you will be prompted to do so, and to register with WoS if need be.
  • Note that you may save searches on the Web of Science server to be retrieves from anywhere, or you may same them on your workstation (note: Do not save to the hard drives of library public workstations!  Your file will be deleted the next time the workstation reboots.)
  • You also have the option to create a search alert.  When you do this, your saved search(es) will be run against the records newly added to the database every week or month as you select.  Search alerts are a great way to stay on top of new research in areas of ongoing interest.  Authors will frequently create search alerts on themselves as cited authors to track who is citing their work.

Refining and Analyzing Results

  • On the left hand side of the Results display (see screenshot above), there is a column headed Refine Results.  In Web of Science as in SciFinder and many other database interfaces, this feature pulls the content of the specified fields from your answer set, and displays the results in ranked order.
  • In Web of Science, the analyzed fields available for refining are: Web of Science Categories, Document Types, Research Areas, Authors, Group Authors, Editors, Source Titles, Book Series Titles, Publication Years, Irganizations-Enhanced, Funding Agencies, Languages,  Countries/Territories, and Open Acces. Note that they don't bother to analyze fields which are unique to each document, like Accession Number or DOI.
  • In the Refine list, you may display or hide the top five values in any category by clicking the arrow next to the category name.  To see more than five, click the more options/values link at the bottom of the list of five.
  • Click the check box next to the desired value of the field (e.g. "Review" under Document Type) and then click Refine to narrow your answer set to the records with the desired value.  Note that you can refine by only one category at a time.  Note, too, that if you check more than one box in a category, the results are combined as with an OR operator.
  • Note that "Web of Science Categories" refers to the subject area which has been assigned to the journal in which the article appeared.  Some journals have more than one category.
  • Below is an example of an expanded list, Web of Science Cataegories.

Web of Science refine list

  • The Refine list is sorted in decreasing order by record count, but may also be sorted alphabetically by selecting that option from the dropdown menu at right.
  • Note that you may select one or multipe authors in include (refine) or exclude from your ianswer set.
  • This feature is useful not only for refining answer sets, but also for determining the most prolific authors, or key institutions, publishing in a particular field - very handy for job hunting or deciding on grad schools.  Alternatively, you could search on an institution, and then analyze their publications to gain insight into what their hot areas of research are - useful for job interviews or analyzing competitors.
  • To do a more detailed analysis, click on the Analyze Results link, located at the bottom of the Refine column.

Web of Science analyze reults, part 1

Web of Science analyze results screen, part 2

Web of Science analyze results screen, part 3

  • Choose the field to be analyzed from the drop-down menu. Almost all the Filter option fields are available.
  • Display Options lets you select 10, 25, 50, 100, 250 or 500 results to display.  Select order of display, and format wit the drop-down menus. Minimum record court lets you set a cutoff point for the number of records that meet the criterion.
  • Sort by lets you choose a ranked order, or an alphanumeric order for the analyzed list.
  • Clicking on any of the bars given an option to display the recrds included in that bar
  • e table displays the information from the analyzed field (Source Titles, in this case), the number of records in the anwer set with that value, the percent of the total that have that value, and a bar graph of the same information.
  • Note that you can select (by clicking the check boxes) one or more items from the list and then view just those records or exclude those records from your results list.
  • Note that you can Save Analysis Data to File.  The only format available is a plain text (.txt) file.

Citation Reports

  • Above the "Times Cited" column in the results list is a Create Citation Report button.  Citation Reports analyze your search results by the number of publications per year,, and the number of citations to those publications per year.  See example below. Note: Citation Reports are only avaialbe for answer sets of 10,000 or less.

Web of Science citation report, part 1
Web of Science citation report, part 2

Web of Science citation report, part 3

Web of Science citation report, part 4

Web of Science citation report, part 5

  • Each citation report contains bar graphs displaying number of publications and number of citation per year.  The default display shows the most recent 20 years, but you can select an "all years" display by clicking diagonal arrows in the upper right corner of the bar graph.
  • Next to the bar graph is an "h-index" for the set of documents, average number of citations, total number of citations (with and without self-citations), and total number of citing articles (with and without self citations.)  The h-index is a measure of impact of a group of documents.  To find it, rank the group of documents by times cieted, then count down the list until the nth document has n citations - that n is he h-index.
  • Below that is a list of items from the result set, ranked by the total number of citing references.  At the right is a list of the number of citing references by year for the last 5 years as well as the total number of citations for all years and the average number of citation per year - dividing the total number of citations by the number of years since publication.
  • The list may be printed, e-mailed, or saved as a text file or Microsoft Excel file using the controls at the bottom of the screen.

Cited References, Citing References (Times Cited) and Related Records

  • These three options are available from the individual record display.  Note that Web of Science only allows you to display cited, or citing or related records based on a single starting reference.
  • Cited References are displayed 30 to a page in a list alphabetized by first author, not the order in which they were cited in the paper..  From this screen, you can exclude selected references from a "related records" search by unchecking the reference(s) before clicking the Find Related Records button.
  • If Web of Science can locate the cited article in the database, the title will be given and it will link to the WoS record for that reference. Absence of a link may indicate that the reference was not indexed at all or that the citing author made an error in the citation which caused it to fail to match its WoS record.  UC users will find a UC-e-Links button for each cited reference
  • Clicking Times Cited gves a list of citing references similar to the normal results display.
  • Note that above the list is a breakdown of which citation database the result came from.  We have access to Web of Science and BIOSIS Citation Index, but not to Chinese Science Citation Database.
  • View Related Records generates a list of records which share at least one cited reference with the starting record.  However, the default sort option for this list is relevance, which in this case means how many references are shared.  If two items in the list share the same number of references, the one with fewer total cited references is ranked higher.  The cited and shared reference numbers are given at the right of the screen.
  • Note that citing and related answer sets may be refined and analyzed just like standard answer sets.  You may go from any individual record to its cited, citing and related records, and so on and so on.
  • If you wish to assemble selected citations from a search and cited, citing or related records, mark them and save them to a Marked List.



  • ResearcherID is a global, multi-disciplinary scholarly research community hosted by Clarivate Analytics, and linked to Web of Science and EndNote Web. With a unique identifier assigned to each author in ResearcherID, you can minimize author misidentification and view an author’s citation metrics instantly. Search the registry to find collaborators, review publication lists
    and explore how research is used around the world.
  • Searching in Web of Science by ResearcherID, or viewing the public ResearcherID information of registered scholars does not require registration.
  • If you have registered with Web of Science or EndNote Web, ResearcherID will use the same e-mail address and password for your login.  However, you will have to register and create a profile to create your own Researcher ID. You may do so either from within Web of Science, or by going to Once you have done so, you will have a ResearcherID number unique to you.
  • You can then identify your publications and link them to your ResearcherID, either by looking them up in Web of Science and using the ResearcherID button associated with the search list or the individual record to add your selected records, or by entering them from your EndNote Web files, or entering them manually in Researcher ID.
  • Within Web of Science, you may access your ResearcherID account by logging in and clicking on the My Tools dropdown menu.
  • A sample ResearcherID profile page is shown below.  Note the links to the non-proprietary ORCID system.  You may now synchronize your Researcher ID and list of articles with your ORCID profile.

ResearcherID profile page, pt. 1
ResearcherID profile page,pt. 2

ResercherID profile page, pt. 3

  • Among the options at the left-hand side of the profile is Citation Metrics.
  • Below is a sample of the citation metric data available to ResearcherID users:

ResearcherID citation metircs

© 2024 Charles F. Huber

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This work by Charles F. Huber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

Screenshots are copyright © 2020 Clarivate Analytics and are used under fair use for educational purposes only.

Using Web of Science

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