Citation databases

Citation databases can be used for cited reference searches, enabling you to find, check and track citation data year-by-year, navigating forward and backward through the literature related to a topic.


You can use a citation database to:

  • distinguish between authors with the same name, or an author's name that has been presented in different ways
  • analyse search results to show the number of documents broken down by various criteria, including year, author, source, affiliation, or subject categories
  • search within results by adding additional terms to the initial search
  • identify highly cited works related to a particular topic
  • find related works that share references or authors
  • create search alerts to keep up to date with developments in your discipline
  • set up citation alerts to notify you when a document or author is cited elsewhere
  • set up alerts to notify you about new documents by an author
  • generate a profile that presents an analysis and citation summary of works published by an institution or author(s), including h-index
  • compare the performance of journals in a particular subject area.

Search a database

The Scopus and Web of Science databases share a number of similar features, but differ in the sources cited and coverage. Both databases focus on English language publications.



The Scopus database contains records from 1969 including science, mathematics, engineering, technology, health and medicine, social sciences, arts and humanities.

  • 22,800 peer reviewed journals, including 3,800 open access titles.
  • 280 trade publications.
  • Articles in press [accepted for publication] from more than 8,000 publishers.
  • 150,000 books from Science, Technology & Medicine (2005-present ) and Arts & Humanities (2003-present).
  • 8 million conference papers from 100,000 conferences.
  • 39 million patents.


Web of Science (WoS)


The WoS database contains records from 1900 including sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities.

  • 20,300 peer reviewed journals.
  • 94,000 scholarly books (2005-present).
  • 10 million conference papers.
  • coverage in some fields is less complete than in others, and there is an apparent focus in the sciences.



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