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Web of Science

Tutorial guide for utilizing Web of Science

Basic Searching in Web of Science

The basic search functions are available on the database's home page under the Search tab.  Web of Science combines several collections so that you can search them all at once, or separately.  These include:

  • Web of Science Core Collection
  • Biological Abstracts
  • BIOSIS Citation Index
  • BIOSIS Previews
  • Derwent Innovations Index
  • KCI-Korean Journal Database
  • Russian Science Citation Index
  • SciELO Citation Index

To begin conducting a basic search:

  1. Select the database you would like to search under "Databases."  If you want to select multiple databases, use the "Collections" dropdown menu.  To search everything, select "All Databases."
  2. Make sure that you have the "documents" icon selected.  You can use the "cited references" tab to search for publications that have been cited in other sources.
  3. Select a category from the dropdown menu.  The options include topic, title, author, publication/source titles, publication year, publication date, abstract, address, author identifiers, DOI, editor, and group author.
  4. Type in your key word(s).
  5. Add a date range or extra row if you want to search within a specific time frame or for multiple key words.  Use the Boolean terms (AND, OR, NOT) to include or exclude your second term if using an extra row.
  6. Click "search" and view your results.

Web of Science Basic Search Page

wos basic search page

Researchers Search

Researchers searching should be a part of any complete literature search. A researchers search lets you view an author's entire record and what they have published.

To conduct a Researchers search:

  1. Click on the "Researchers" tab on the basic search page.
  2. Select either "Name search" or "Author identifiers" based on the information you have about the author you are searching for.
  3. Type in your key word(s) or the author's name.
  4. Use the additional rows to add extra key words to your search (optional) and select the appropriate Boolean term (AND, OR, NOT) based on your search needs.
  5. Click "search" and view your results.


Researchers Search Page

wos researchers tab

Advanced Searching in Web of Science

The advanced search function has additional features that let you build more specific search queries.  To conduct an advanced search:

  1. Click on the advanced search icon on the database's home page.
  2. Select a field from the dropdown menu, like you would in a basic search.
  3. Type in your search terms and click "add to query."  To add additional search terms, select another field from the dropdown menu and type in another term to add to the query.  A preview of your search query will show below.  You can also modify your query manually by using the field tags located below the query preview box.
  4. Use the appropriate Boolean terms (AND, OR, NOT) if using multiple search terms.
  5. Type in a date range.
  6. Click "search" and view your results.

Click here to watch a tutorial on conducting an advanced search in Web of Science.

To learn how to combine search sets while conducting an advanced search, watch the tutorial here.


Web of Science Advanced Search Page

wos advanced search page

Viewing Your Results

Whether you conduct a basic or advanced search, your search results page will look similar and have the same functions.  You can manage your results page with the options above the first result.  These include adding sources to a marked list, exporting citation information, and organizing results according to specific criteria.  To narrow down your search results, use the "Refine Results" tab on the left side of the page.  It contains the following filters:

  • Quick filters: Review articles, early access, and open access
  • Publication years
  • Document type (to view full-text sources, select "Articles)
  • Web of Science Categories
  • Authors
  • Affiliations
  • Publication Titles
  • Publishers
  • Funding agencies
  • Open Access
  • Editorial Notices
  • Editors
  • Group Authors
  • Research Areas
  • Conference Titles
  • Book Series Titles
  • Group/Corporate authors
  • Web of Science Index
  • Countries/Regions
  • Languages

To view more information about each result, click on the result's title in purple font.  It contains information about the source, such as date, inventor/author, patent number, and application information.  To view the full-text of an article, click on the full-text icon, which can be found either on the search results page or the source's information page.  The icon will usually read "Full Text at Publisher" or "Full Text through LinkSource."  If the full text links do not work, we recommend submitting an Interlibrary Loan request for the article.


Web of Science Search Results Page

wos search results page


Source Information Page

wos source info page

Exporting Citations

Web of Science offers an export feature, which allows you to export a source's citation information to your device or other citation management software.  To export a citation:

  1. Select a source by clicking on the checkbox on the left side of the search results panel.  You may also select multiple sources to export at once.
  2. Click on the "Export" icon and select from the following options:
    • EndNote online
    • EndNote desktop
    • Plain text file
    • RIS (other reference software)
    • Excel
    • Tab delimited file
    • Printable HTML file
  3. Choose your export options.  These include selecting how many citations to include on a page and whether you want to include the source's abstract in the citation.
  4. Click "Export."


Export Records Options Window

wos export options window