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Web of Science Changes and Alternatives: Research Impact Metrics - Differences

Research Impact Metrics - Differences

Research impact metrics (e.g. citation counts, h-index) can vary across different resources (e.g. Web of Science and Scopus). These differences can be explained in terms of journal titles/focus area of the database, date coverage and more but does not indicate one is better than the other, just different:

  • Journal titles 
    • Both databases index a core group of journal titles that are exactly the same.
    • Each database has journal titles that are unique to their database due to focus areas.
      • Web of Science - science, technology, social sciences and arts and humanities.
      • Scopus - physical science, health sciences, life sciences, social sciences and humanities.
  • Date coverage
    • Web of Science - citation information goes back to 1961.
    • Scopus - coverage went back to 1996 when they launched in 2004 but have added additional data to take citations back to 1970 as of 2017.