Literature Searching: Web of Science

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The Web of Science is a huge literature searching database, bringing together 5 major tools for searching high impact scholarly journals, books and conference proceedings:

  • Science Citation Index
  • Social Science Citation Index
  • Arts and Humanities Citation Index
  • Conference Proceedings Citation Index
  • Book citation index

It is an excellent tool for literature searching and can be particularly useful for interdisciplinary subjects.

Web of Science has a range of tools for measuring impact using citation data (i.e. the number of times papers, authors and journals are cited). You can use it to find the most highly cited articles and authors in your field and to calculate the h-index for individual researchers.

In addition, it is easy to use Web of Science to broaden your reading because it allows you to search for items which have cited a key paper, book or author in your field. Searching in this way can help you to find items which you have not found via traditional keyword searching. Citation indexing can also help you to track the history of a research idea.