Skip to main content

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:

[click the image to enlarge it]

You’ll see the title, author(s), source and times cited. By default the results are sorted by Date (newest to oldest). Behind Sort by at the top of the results list you can change that into Times Cited, Usage Count, Relevance. More sorting options are available in the More dropdown menu (for example source title, first author name, recently added to Web of Science, etc.).

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 an extra button with 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 ResearcherID and ORCID (when available - see for more information about these identifiers the chapter 'YOU in Web of Science'). The search terms are highlighted.

[click the image to enlarge it]

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

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 type, publication years or author. Using this option will limit the number of results. The most frequently used refine options are shown, the remaining options are available on demand by clicking View all options at the bottom of the filter list.

You can refine both by limiting to certain fields and by excluding certain fields. After clicking the more options / values... link under a refine option, you get an overview of the values, for example:

[click the image to enlarge it]

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

Analyzing the search results

At the top of the results list, you find the link Analyze Results.

There you rank the records, for example by authors or source 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 graph) and - when you scroll down the page - a table: 

Web of Science Analyze Results Table

[click the images to enlarge them]

Creating a citation report

At the top of the results list, at the right side of the screen you find the link Create Citation Report.

Button Create 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.

Web of Science Citation Report

Please note: a citation report can only be made for search result sets with less than 10.000 results.

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 this button:

Web of Science Add to Marked List

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

At the top of the page you can open your Marked List: Web of Science Marked List with results

You'll have two options:

  • total records on the Marked List - with this option you can export summary data for the records, like Author, title, times cited, source.
  • records from Web of Science Core Collection - this option allows you to export more information, including the cited references, author identifiers, Web of Science Categories, keywords etc.

At Step 2 you have to mark the fields you want to save, for example the abstract and keywords, next to the bibliographical information (author, title, source). From there you can print or e-mail the list or send the references to your reference manager, like RefWorks. You have to make this choice at Step 3: Click export and select the option needed. You can also export the references to Excel - in that case choose Other File Formats and choose for example Tab-delimited (Win). This choice is remembered during your Web of Science session. You can export 500 records in one export.

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. You can also create a RSS feed and view new results in your RSS reader.

After performing a search, you'll see a button 'Create Alert' in the left upper corner of the results page, under your search string. When you click this button, you have to login (or register as a user - see the chapter Web of Science: Personal account).

Web of Science Create Alert

You have to give the alert a name and (optional) a description. If you want to receive e-mail alerts, mark the box behind E-mail alerts. You can set the Alert Type (it might be useful to get an abstract of the article in your e-mail as well) and the frequency (daily, weekly or monthly). Click Save. In the next screen you can find the link to the RSS feed: that’s the orange button behind RSS feed. Click this button – a new screen opens. Copy the entire URL and paste it into your RSS reader (for example in Outlook).

You can find your saved searches and alerts by clicking Searches & Alerts. 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 Saved Searches and click Open.