Marie St. Pierre, MLIS, AHIP
Children’s Hospital Colorado, Clinical and Research Library
Adjoint Librarian, University of Colorado
This is an update of a review of Web of Science that was published in the November 2018 issue of Doody’s Collection Development Monthly.
Web of Science is a database offered by Clarivate with a core collection featuring science, social science, arts, and humanities. It also offers a Korean journal database, a Russian database with science, technology, medical, and education publications, and SciELO, which indexes open access publications in Latin America, Spain, Portugal, and South Africa. These databases can be searched individually or together at once, in their respective languages or in English.
Web of Science has a good level of precision. For example, it can be searched by year, type of article, university affiliation, or authors. One filter that it does not have is a filter for age groups, which can be important if the topic being searched is one that is of importance to pediatrics, older age groups, or similar. This can be partially compensated for by adding a search term such as “pediatrics” or “geriatrics” and then using the “analyze results” function.
In looking at the results given in a search, there will be a prompt for related records (i.e., similar articles), and a full record will show abstract, keywords, and information on the journal that the article is published in. The impact factor of the journal is noted. There are links to look for full text or to look in a library’s collection. The number of citations of each article, and the number of references the article has, are listed near each result. Searches can be saved and run again, and alerts can be set in Web of Science. Results can be searched by type (book review, proceedings, so on), the institution they originated in, geographic area, group author names, and book series titles if appropriate. Searches can be saved and alerts generated.
Web of Science has several features that are specially geared to researchers and authors. For example, it offers PublonsCV, which allows authors to keep track of their publications, peer reviews, or papers they have edited. Publons, EndNote, and Web of Science can be accessed with one login (Clarivate is the parent company of Web of Science and EndNote). Clarivate also offers many other research or analytics tools outside the scope of Web of Science.
Web of Science still offers both institutional and individual subscriptions. It can be advantageous in cases where a more general database is needed, such as humanities, as opposed to a database that is, for example, strictly health care. The name “Web of Science” is a bit misleading!
An academic institution that concentrates on publishing will benefit from this database and the additional services it performs.