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Course Research Impacts: Finding articles on a topic

Finding articles on a topic

In this part of the course we show you how to find articles on a particular topic, within Scopus.

Search settings

By default Scopus searches in all its content: all publication years, all document types and all subject areas. When you click the link Add date range you can select a publication range. Filtering on document types and subject areas is possible after you have performed the search.

Scopus Document Search

Search fields

The default startpage of Scopus is Documents. This search alllows you to search by fields, like Authors, Article title or Keywords. By default the field Article Title, Abstract, Keywords is selected, which allows you to search these fields in one request. This is very useful if you want to search for articles on a certain topic. In the dropdown menu you’ll see all available search options.

Scopus Search Fields

Search operators

To combine search fields you can use these boolean operators:


 finds only those documents that contain all of the terms


 finds documents that contain any of the terms. This can by useful when using synonyms, alternative spellings or abbreviations 


 excludes documents that include the specified term from the search


Scopus uses these wildcards:


 replaces a single character anywhere in a word. Use one question mark for each character you want to replace 


 replaces multiple characters anywhere in a word

Scopus applies word stemming: using the singular form of a word in your search retrieves the singular, plural, and possessive forms of most words.

In the Advanced Search two extra search operators are available:

 "precedes by" 

 where the first term in the search must precede the second by a specified number of terms (n)


 where the terms in the search must be within a specified number of terms (n); either word may appear first 

The operators are processed in this order:

  1. OR 
  2. W/n, PRE/n
  3. AND
  4. AND NOT

Use braces to search for exact phrases, like {social media}. When you use double quotes, like “social media”, you’ll find documents where your search terms appear adjacent to each other, but when you use ”…” plurals are automatically included as well and you can use wildcards.

You can add more text boxes, by clicking + Add search field. You can search different fields for each text box. For example, you can use one to search for an author name, and the other box for keywords.

Scopus Example Query