Scientific Content Discovery - Part 4: So far in this blog series, we’ve covered perhaps the two best-known scholarly search portals: PubMed and Google Scholar—both of which are available to users for free. Today, we’ll take a high-level look at the subscription-based discovery portal, Scopus.
IN A NUTSHELL: Owned by Elsevier, Scopus is a multidisciplinary database that covers peer-reviewed journals, books, conference proceedings, and patents across the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts and humanities.
According to Elsevier, Scopus is ‘The largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature.’ Updated daily, the database contains 64+ million records and 22,000+ peer-reviewed journals from 5,000 international publishers. Among the health science titles indexed, Scopus claims 100% coverage of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Compendex.
COOL SEARCH CAPABILITIES
Scopus comes with an array of impressive features designed to make it as easy as possible to search and find the citation you are looking for. Here is a quick overview:
Citation Tracking: In addition to letting you look back in time (to see the references cited by an article), Scopus also lets you look forward in time by linking to more recent papers that cite the article being examined.
Flexible Search: Using Scopus’ assortment of helpful and comprehensive search features, you can:
- Sort results by date, relevance, author, source, title, or number of citations received (‘Cited by’).
- Conduct a new search within results.
- Search for ‘Related documents’ to see the number of articles with shared references—and refine the search by selecting specific search criteria.
- Browse references that are not indexed in the Scopus database by clicking the ‘View secondary documents’ link above your search results.
- Set alerts or RSS feeds (from within Search History) to be notified when a new article matching your criteria is listed.
Graph Results: Click the ‘Analyze search results’ link (located at the top of the results page) to see how the results break down by year, source, author, affiliation, country/territory, document type, and subject area.
Compare Sources: To compare groups of up to 10 journals, click the ‘Compare sources’ link (located on the main search page). You can choose table or graph format to see how journals compare in the following categories:
- Impact metrics (CiteScore, SJR, and SNIP)
- Number of times cited in a year
- Number of published articles in a year
- Percentage of articles that are review articles
- Percentage of documents published in a year that have never been cited
Bibliographic Management: Citations can be exported into your preferred reference manager (e.g. Mendeley, RefWorks and EndNote).
Stay tuned for more insights on Scopus! In our next post, we’ll turn our focus to Web of Science to see how the two discovery portals compare.
ACCESSING LITERATURE FROM YOUR SEARCH RESULTS
Despite its robust search and analytics capabilities, Scopus only covers part of the scientific literature published in certain fields. And accessing the full-text papers may be a challenge if you don't have all the journal subscriptions required. Reprints Desk’s Article Galaxy platform integrates into Scopus to make papers directly accessible in your Scopus search results. Ask our Article Galaxy specialists for more.
Is there another Scopus fact that deserves a mention? Let us know and we’ll update the post with the best ideas.