4. Where do I find literature on my topic? General bibliographical databases

The library offers you the following databases:

  • Web of Science (WoS)
  • Scopus.

  • Web of Science (WoS): offers you coverage of all subject fields. It systematically lists the articles which are published in approximately 8000 scientific journal. The version which is probably of most interest to you is the Science Citation Index (SCI), available as of 1988.

    The advantage is that you can find related research conducted in other science subject fields (life sciences, physics etc.). The database includes bibliographical data (authors, article title, references and sometimes an abstract.

    Besides bibliographical data the database contains citations

    How can I see whether a particular article which is listed or cited in SCI is available in the CWI library?
    Ideally links to articles which are available as part of current licences are provided. However, unfortunately this feature does not always function properly. Therefore, it is best to look up in the catalogue whether a particular journal (on title), proceedings or collection of articles (on editor or title of the volume) is available.

    What are the disadvantages of WoS?
    Although it is a very large bibliographical database it only includes journal articles and articles in some series, e.g. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Monographs are not included.

    Please note: To use Web of Science from outside the CWI, you must use a VPN connection.

  • Scopus
    It is a comprehensive abstract and citation database of research literature and web sources in science, technology, health and social sciences with abstracts since 1966. References and therefore citations go back to 1996. It covers approximately 15.000 academic journals, conference proceedings, book series and Internet resources (e.g. institutional repositories, ArXiv, homepages). More detailed information is available.

    Document citation alert
    An interesting feature is "document citation alert". Authors can request to be notified whenever her or his particular article is cited. For further information, see Scopus Help. Since December 2006 Scopus also supports BibTeX format to generate a bibliography from your selected documents.

    "View at Publisher", provided by Scopus, are links to the full text articles on the publisher's website. However, whether an article is available to you depends on the current licences held by CWI.


If you cannot find an article using any of the above described options you can always look up in the Discovery catalogue whether a particular journal (on title), proceedings or collection of articles (on editor or title of the volume) is available as a print copy only.

What is the difference between Web of Science and Scopus?
Scopus has a larger and more complete coverage with regard to bibliographical data and abstracts of publications. WoS claims to cover only important publications. New journals have to establish a certain track record before being covered by WoS.
Both databases record citations to articles. WoS provides citations prior to 1996. Scopus also covers web resources like homepages and open repositories.

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