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Course Research Impacts: Search results

Search results

In this part of the course we cover the search results in Web of Science - what do you see on the screen and what can you do with it?

  • The results page
  • Getting the full text of articles
  • Full record
  • Refining the search results
  • Analyzing the search results
  • Creating a citation report
  • Exporting records
  • Saving searches and creating search alerts

The search results

The search results appear in a list:

Search results in Web of Science

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You’ll see the title, author(s), source, number of references and times cited. By default the results are sorted by Relevance. When you click the arrow next to Relevance at the top of the results list you can change that into (amongst other options) Date: newest first, Date: oldest first, Citations: highest first, Citations: lowest first, First author name or Publication title.

Getting the full-text

To find the full-text of the article, click the Erasmus signature – the link resolver of the EUR will search if we have access to the full-text of the article and in which database. When the article is published in Open Access, you will see a link to the article on the website of the publisher or in a repository.

Full record

When you click on the article title, you move to the full record, with additional information about the article, like a link to the cited references (what literature is cited in this particular article?) and the citing articles (which articles within Web of Science cite this particular article?), the abstract, KeyWords Plus, information about the author(s), including the Web of Science ResearcherID and ORCID iD (when available - see for more information about these identifiers the chapter 'YOU in Web of Science'). The search terms are highlighted.

Example of a full record in Web of Science

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At the right side of the full record you find the 'Citation Network', with links to the citing articles (Citations), the cited references and a link to find related records (View Related Records), based on the shared references. 

Web of Science also tries to classify the citations: why was the article cited, what was the intent of the author(s) of the citing article? Five citation classes are used:

  • Background - previously published research that orients the current study within a scholarly area.
  • Basis - references that report the data sets, methods, concepts and ideas that the author is using for her work directly or on which the author bases her work
  • Support - references which the current study reports to have similar results to. This may also refer to similarities in methodology or in some cases replication of results.
  • Differ - references which the current study reports to have differing results to. This may also refer to differences in methodology or differences in sample sizes, affecting results.
  • Discuss - references mentioned because the current study is going into a more detailed discussion.

Also available are item level usage metrics, the Web of Science Usage counts:

  • Last 180 days – This is the count of the number of times the full text of a record has been accessed or a record has been saved in the last 180 days. This count can move up or down as the end date of the fixed period advances.
  • Since 2013 - This is the count of the number of times the full text of a record has been accessed or a record has been saved since February 1, 2013. This count can increase or remain static over time.

Refining the search results

At the left side of the search results screen you can refine the results, for example by Web of Science Categories (based on the journal), Document Types, Publication Years or Author. Using this option will limit the number of results. 

You can refine both by limiting to certain fields and by excluding certain fields. After clicking the See all link under a refine option, you get an overview of the values in a new pane, for example:

Refine by publications title in Web of Science

TIP: the list of results is ordered by Results count. This can make it hard to find the subject areas, authors or journals you’re looking for. You can change the order to Alphabetical at the top of the list.

Analyzing the search results

At the top of the results list, next to the search bar, you find the button Analyze Results.

There you rank the records, for example by authors or publication titles. This can help you identify the main (or most productive) researchers or the main journals in a certain field. The Analyze results screen has two parts: a visualisation (a treemap or a bar chart) and - when you scroll down the page - a table: 

Example of Analyze Results in Web of Science: a treemap of the WoS categories

Example of Analyze Results: the table view of the WoS categories

Creating a citation report

At the top of the results list, next to the search bar, you find the button Citation Report.

In the Citation Report key metrics, such as total number of publications, total number of citations and H-index are calculated for datasets of up to 10.000 records. With this report you can also easily find the most cited publication(s) within the dataset and link to the citing articles.

Example of a Citation Report in Web of Science

Exporting records

When you check the boxes in front of the titles in the results list, you can add them to your marked list – by clicking the Add To Marked List button.

Please note: this is a temporary list - it’s deleted when you close Web of Science.

In the menu at the left side of the page you can open your Marked List: Marked List in the menu

To export the list:

  • Click Documents
  • Click the Export button at the top of the results
  • Choose the export format, for example Excel or RIS
  • Select the records: all record on page or a specific range of records. You can export 1000 records at a time (if you have more results, you can export records 1 to 1000; 1001 to 2000; 2001 to 3000 etc.) 
  • Under Record Content you can choose the information you want to export. The 'Custom selection' option allows you to make your own selection of fields.
  • Click the Export button

Saving searches and creating search alerts

After creating a search alert you’ll receive a daily, weekly or monthly e-mail from Web of Science indicating whether a new article or new articles fitting your search criteria are added to the database. To save a search within Web of Science, you also start with creating a search alert. 

After performing a search, you'll see a button 'Create alert' above the search bar on the Results page. When you click this button, you have to login (or register as a user - see the chapter Web of Science: Personal account).

You have to give the alert a name. Automatically a weekly alert is created, but you can change this by clicking Manage alerts in the confirmation screen. Find your alert (you can sort by Creation date - descending) and click More options. You can add a description, and set the frequency (daily, weekly or monthly) or make the alert Inactive. 

You can find your saved searches and alerts in the menu at the left side of the screen. If you're not logged in, you are prompted to login.

To repeat a search in Web of Science, find the search under the tab Search alerts and click Rerun Search.