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A Comparison between Two Main Academic Literature Collections: Web of Science and Scopus Databases


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  • Aghaei Chadegani, Arezoo
  • Salehi, Hadi
  • Md Yunus, Melor
  • Farhadi, Hadi
  • Fooladi, Masood
  • Farhadi, Maryam
  • Ale Ebrahim, Nader


Nowadays, the world’s scientific community has been publishing an enormous number of papers in different scientific fields. In such environment, it is essential to know which databases are equally efficient and objective for literature searches. It seems that two most extensive databases are Web of Science and Scopus. Besides searching the literature, these two databases used to rank journals in terms of their productivity and the total citations received to indicate the journals impact, prestige or influence. This article attempts to provide a comprehensive comparison of these databases to answer frequent questions which researchers ask, such as: How Web of Science and Scopus are different? In which aspects these two databases are similar? Or, if the researchers are forced to choose one of them, which one should they prefer? For answering these questions, these two databases will be compared based on their qualitative and quantitative characteristics.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 46898.

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Date of creation: 11 Feb 2013
Date of revision: 18 Mar 2013
Publication status: Published in Asian Social Science 5.9(2013): pp. 18-26
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:46898

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Keywords: web of science; scopus; database; citations; provenance; coverage; searching; citation tracking; impact factor; indexing; h-index; researcher profile; researcher ID;

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  1. Bar-Ilan, Judit & Levene, Mark & Lin, Ayelet, 2007. "Some measures for comparing citation databases," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 26-34.
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Cited by:
  1. Ale Ebrahim, Nader & Salehi, Hadi & Embi, Mohamed Amin & Habibi Tanha, Farid & Gholizadeh, Hossein & Motahar, Seyed Mohammad & Ordi, Ali, 2013. "Effective Strategies for Increasing Citation Frequency," MPRA Paper 50919, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 12 Oct 2013.
  2. Ale Ebrahim, Nader, 2013. "Introduction to the Research Tools Mind Map," MPRA Paper 47627, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Michał Brzeziński, 2014. "Power laws in citation distributions: Evidence from Scopus," Working Papers, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw 2014-05, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  4. Guerrero-Baena, M. Dolores & Gómez-Limón, José A. & Fruet Cardozo, J. Vicente, 2014. "Are Multi-criteria Decision Making Techniques Useful for Solving Corporate Finance Problems? A Bibliometric Analysis || ¿Son adecuadas las técnicas de decisión multicriterio para resolver los probl," Revista de Métodos Cuantitativos para la Economía y la Empresa = Journal of Quantitative Methods for Economics and Business Administration, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Quantitative M, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Quantitative Methods for Economics and Business Administration, vol. 17(1), pages 60-79, June.


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