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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
  • Search fields
  • Search operators

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 Limit you can change the date range, select specific document types and/or limit to Open Access publications. Filtering on subject areas is possible after you have done a search.

Scopus search settings

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

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 the + button (add additional search terms). You can search different fields for each text box. For example, you can use one to search for an author's name, and the other box for keywords.

Scopus search example