Web of Science

Last updated

Web of Science
Web of Science Logo.png
ProducerClarivate Analytics (United States)
Coverage
DisciplinesScience, social science, arts, humanities (supports 256 disciplines)
Record depthCitation indexing, author, topic title, subject keywords, abstract, periodical title, author's address, publication year
Format coverageFull text articles, reviews, editorials, chronologies, abstracts, proceedings (journals and book-based ), technical papers
Temporal coverage1900 to present
No. of records90 million +
Links
Website https://clarivate.com/products/web-of-science/
Title list(s) https://mjl.clarivate.com/home

Web of Science (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 disciplines. It was originally produced by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and is currently maintained by Clarivate Analytics (previously the Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters [1] ).

Contents

Background and history

A citation index 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, abstracts, etc. In addition, literature which 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, the "father of citation indexing of academic literature," [2] who launched the Science Citation Index (SCI), which in turn led to the Web of Science, [3] wrote:

Citations are the formal, explicit linkages between papers that have particular points in common. A citation index is built around these linkages. It lists publications that have been cited and identifies the sources of the citations. Anyone conducting a literature search can find from one to dozens of additional papers on a subject just by knowing one that has been cited. And every paper that is found provides a list of new citations with which to continue the search. The simplicity of citation indexing is one of its main strengths. [4]

Search and analysis

Web of Science is described as a unifying research tool which 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, 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, and geographic representation. [5]

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 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. [5] [6]

Coverage

Entering a search query on Web of Science. Web of Science Core Collection.png
Entering a search query on Web of Science.

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, [7] [8] and Web of Science now has indexing coverage from the year 1900 to the present. [9] [10] As of 24 February 2017, the multidisciplinary coverage of the Web of Science encompasses 12,000 high impact journals and 160,000 conference proceedings. [11] The selection is made on the basis of impact evaluations and comprise open-access journals, spanning multiple academic disciplines. The coverage includes: the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities, and goes across disciplines. [9] [12] However, Web of Science does not index all journals.

There is a significant and positive correlation between Impact Factor and CiteScore. However, an analysis by 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 CiteScore while they did not have Impact Factor. [13] It appears that Impact Factor does not provide a comprehensive and an unbiased coverage of high quality journals. Similar results can be observed by comparing Impact Factor 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. [12]

Titles of foreign-language publications are translated into English and so cannot be found by searches in the original language. [14]

In 2018, Web of Science started embedding partial information about the open access status of works, using Unpaywall data. [15]

Citation databases

Web of Science databases. Web of science next generation.png
Web of Science databases.

The Web of Science Core Collection consists of six online databases: [16] [17]

Regional databases

Since 2008, the Web of Science hosts a number of regional citation indices:

Contents

The seven 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 reviewed 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, physical and chemical sciences, anthropology, law, library sciences, architecture, dance, music, film, and theater. Seven citation databases encompasses coverage of the above disciplines. [10] [11] [23]

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. [24]

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. [24] 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." [25]

See also

Related Research Articles

A citation index is a kind of bibliographic index, an index of citations between publications, allowing the user to easily establish which later documents cite which earlier documents. A form of citation index is first found in 12th-century Hebrew religious literature. Legal citation indexes are found in the 18th century and were made popular by citators such as Shepard's Citations (1873). In 1960, Eugene Garfield's Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) introduced the first citation index for papers published in academic journals, first the Science Citation Index (SCI), and later the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) and the Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI). The first automated citation indexing was done by CiteSeer in 1997 and was patented. Other sources for such data include Google Scholar and Elsevier's Scopus.

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, a field pioneered by Garfield.

The impact factor (IF) or journal impact factor (JIF) of an academic journal is a scientometric index that reflects the yearly average number of citations that articles published in the last two years in a given journal received. It is frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field; journals with higher impact factors are often deemed to be more important than those with lower ones.

Scientometrics is the field of study which concerns itself with measuring and analysing scientific literature. Scientometrics is a sub-field of bibliometrics. Major research issues include the measurement of the impact of research papers and academic journals, the understanding of scientific citations, and the use of such measurements in policy and management contexts. In practice there is a significant overlap between scientometrics and other scientific fields such as information systems, information science, science of science policy, sociology of science, and metascience. Critics have argued that over-reliance on scientometrics has created a system of perverse incentives, producing a publish or perish environment that leads to low quality research.

Citation analysis is the examination of the frequency, patterns, and graphs of citations in documents. It uses the directed graph of citations — links from one document to another document — to reveal properties of the documents. A typical aim would be to identify the most important documents in a collection. A classic example is that of the citations between academic articles and books. For another example, judges of law support their judgements by referring back to judgements made in earlier cases. An additional example is provided by patents which contain prior art, citation of earlier patents relevant to the current claim.

Eugene Garfield

Eugene Eli Garfield was an American linguist and businessman, one of the founders of bibliometrics and scientometrics. He helped to create Current Contents, Science Citation Index (SCI), Journal Citation Reports, and Index Chemicus, among others, and founded the magazine The Scientist.

Google Scholar Academic search service by Google

Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines. Released in beta in November 2004, the Google Scholar index includes most peer-reviewed online academic journals and books, conference papers, theses and dissertations, preprints, abstracts, technical reports, and other scholarly literature, including court opinions and patents. While Google does not publish the size of Google Scholar's database, scientometric researchers estimated it to contain roughly 389 million documents including articles, citations and patents making it the world's largest academic search engine in January 2018. Previously, the size was estimated at 160 million documents as of May 2014. An earlier statistical estimate published in PLOS ONE using a Mark and recapture method estimated approximately 80–90% coverage of all articles published in English with an estimate of 100 million. This estimate also determined how many documents were freely available on the web.

The Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI), also known as Arts & Humanities Search, is a citation index, with abstracting and indexing for more than 1,700 arts and humanities journals, and coverage of disciplines that includes social and natural science journals. Part of this database is derived from Current Contents records. Furthermore, the print counterpart is Current Contents.

Citation impact is a measure of how many times an academic journal article or book or author is cited by other articles, books or authors. Citation counts are interpreted as measures of the impact or influence of academic work and have given rise to the field of bibliometrics or scientometrics, specializing in the study of patterns of academic impact through citation analysis. The journal impact factor, the two-year average ratio of citations to articles published, is a measure of the importance of journals. It is used by academic institutions in decisions about academic tenure, promotion and hiring, and hence also used by authors in deciding which journal to publish in. Citation-like measures are also used in other fields that do ranking, such as Google's PageRank algorithm, software metrics, college and university rankings, and business performance indicators.

The Science Citation Index (SCI) is a citation index originally produced by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and created by Eugene Garfield. It was officially launched in 1964. It is now owned by Clarivate Analytics. The larger version covers more than 8,500 notable and significant journals, across 150 disciplines, from 1900 to the present. These are alternatively described as the world's leading journals of science and technology, because of a rigorous selection process.

The Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) is a commercial citation index product of Clarivate Analytics. It was originally developed by the Institute for Scientific Information from the Science Citation Index. The Social Sciences Citation Index is a multidisciplinary index and indexes over 3,000 social sciences journals – 1988 to present.

<i>Knowledge Management Research & Practice</i> Academic journal

Knowledge Management Research & Practice (KMRP) is a peer-reviewed academic journal covering all aspects of managing knowledge, organisational learning, intellectual capital and knowledge economics. It is an official journal of The Operational Research Society. According to its homepage, it has also been accepted in Thomson Reuters Social Sciences Citation Index and its current impact factor is 1.583, according to the 2019 Journal Citation Reports®.

Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is an annual publication by Clarivate Analytics. It has been integrated with the Web of Science and is accessed from the Web of Science-Core Collections. It provides information about academic journals in the natural sciences and social sciences, including impact factors. The JCR was originally published as a part of Science Citation Index. Currently, the JCR, as a distinct service, is based on citations compiled from the Science Citation Index Expanded and the Social Sciences Citation Index.

<i>British Journal of Pharmacology</i> Academic journal

The British Journal of Pharmacology is a biweekly peer-reviewed medical journal covering all aspects of experimental pharmacology. It is published for the British Pharmacological Society by Wiley-Blackwell. It was established in 1946 as the British Journal of Pharmacology and Chemotherapy. The journal obtained its current title in 1968.

Current Contents is a rapid alerting service database from Clarivate Analytics, formerly the Institute for Scientific Information and Thomson Reuters. It is published online and in several different printed subject sections.

BIOSIS Previews is an English-language, bibliographic database service, with abstracts and citation indexing. It is part of Clarivate Analytics Web of Science suite. BIOSIS Previews indexes data from 1926 to the present.

The Materials Science Citation Index is a citation index, established in 1992, by Thomson ISI. Its overall focus is cited reference searching of the notable and significant journal literature in materials science. The database makes accessible the various properties, behaviors, and materials in the materials science discipline. This then encompasses applied physics, ceramics, composite materials, metals and metallurgy, polymer engineering, semiconductors, thin films, biomaterials, dental technology, as well as optics. The database indexes relevant materials science information from over 6,000 scientific journals that are part of the ISI database which is multidisciplinary. Author abstracts are searchable, which links articles sharing one or more bibliographic references. The database also allows a researcher to use an appropriate article as a base to search forward in time to discover more recently published articles that cite it.

CAB Direct is a source of references for the applied life sciences It incorporates two bibliographic databases: CAB Abstracts and Global Health. CAB Direct is an access point for multiple bibliographic databases produced by CABI. This database contains 8.8 million bibliographic records, which includes 85,000 full text articles. It also includes noteworthy literature reviews. News articles and reports are also part of this combined database.

<i>Health Education Journal</i> Academic journal

The Health Education Journal is a peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the field of health education. It was established in 1943 and is published by Sage Publications The editor-in-chief is Peter Aggleton.

The Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) is a citation index produced since 2015 by Thomson Reuters, and now by Clarivate Analytics. According to the publisher, the index includes "peer-reviewed publications of regional importance and in emerging scientific fields".

References

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  4. Garfield, Garfield, Eugene. Citation indexing: Its theory and application in science, technology, and humanities. New York: Wiley, 1979, P. 1. PDF
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  13. Survey by Elsevier
  14. "Some Searching Conventions". President and Fellows of Harvard College. December 3, 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
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  24. 1 2 San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment: Putting science into the assessment of research, December 16, 2012
  25. Thomson Reuters Statement Regarding the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment