Getting Better Results with Web of Science

A guide to Web of Science and some of its features.

The side bar allows refinements after a search

The sidebar lets you refine or limit your results after you have done a search. You may limit by what is highly cited, what's open access, publication years, category, type of publication and more. This section is just the top of the list of possible filters.

sidebar on Web of Science, showing some filters for searches

Analyze Results

The "Analyze Results" link gives a menu of options for analysis, from authors' names to publication years. You may set the threshold number for the display and sort by record count or selected field. They have 'treemap' charts which are blocks of color that represent the numbers, or you can get a traditional bar chart. 


Analyze Results and Citation Reports

Put in your term or terms and other parameters, then click Search. Once the search has run, click on the link that says 'Analyze results" and follow the directions. Use the Analyze Results link to parse the results by author(s), institutions, countries, language, publication year, and funding source. The data may be saved as a text file and then used in a spreadsheet. This is useful as a way to find out who, at what institution, in what country, is doing the most research on a particular topic, and sources of funding for it.

search bar showing 'analyze results' and citations button

Find the most cited articles from a particular journal, if indexed in Web of Science, by putting the journal's title in the search box, then change the dropdown menu to "publication name." If less than ten thousand hits result, a link to "Create Citation Reports" should show on the right (see the illustration below). Click on the link to see which articles have been cited most often from that journal. Limitations: you may have to reduce the number of years searched to keep the citations down to below 10,000, and that may skew your results.

This is just the top of the results, showing the graphs of the citations for the last five years and then the first entry in the list of cited articles.