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Literature Reviews

What Is Web of Science?

The Web of Science Core Collection includes citation indexes that cover research in  journals, books, and proceedings in the sciences, social sciences and art & humanities. 

The major article citation indexes are:

  • Science Citation Index Expanded
  • Social Sciences Citation Index
  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index

Journal inclusion in these indexes is quite selective. Clarivate Analytics (the publisher of Web of Science) uses citation analysis, among other criteria, to assess journal importance and impact to choose which journals to include in these indexes.

The Emerging Sources Citation Index is less selective. Journals indexed here must be peer reviewed, follow ethical publishing practices, meet Clarivate's technical requirements, have English records, and be recommended or requested by a scholarly audience of Web of Science users.

There are also conference proceeding and book citation indexes for the sciences and social sciences.

Select Citation Indexes

Choose the citation indexes you want to search:

From the Web of Science homepage, go to More Settings (beneath the search box).More settings link under Web of Science search box

Enable only the citation indexes you want to search. Disable the Chemical Indexes.

List of Web of Science Citation Indexes


In the basic search, your searches look in the topic fields by default. These include article titles, abstracts, author keywords, and "Keywords Plus" (Web of Science keywords). You can change the field searched using the drop down menu by the search box. You can also add additional search fields.


Web of Science search box

Filtering Results

Some of the most useful filters are publication years,  Web of Science Categories (disciplines), and document type. Web of Science categories describe the discipline or disciplines covered by the journal. Document type describes the type of article. Article means original research, and review means a literature review or survey of existing research. Important note: the categories in the left hand navigation are simply the most popular. Click more options/values to choose additional years, categories, or document types.

Web of Science refine options menu