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Featured Resource - 2006 No. 103

Past Issues

Web of Science

What is Web of Science?

Web of Science is a multidisciplinary citation index and general search engine consisting primarily of three databases:

  • Science Citation Index (SCI-Expanded)
  • Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)
  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI)

You can search just one of these or all three simultaneously (default).  Most scientific, medical and technical articles will be indexed by Science Citation Index.  However, since the division between disciplines is not always clear, it is often best to search all three. 

The details...

  • Web of Science indexes over 8700 publications in all areas of science, the arts, and the humanities; 
  • Covers from 1982 to the present;
  • Updated weekly;
  • Indexes journal articles including letters, corrections, editorials, and meeting abstracts
  • Currently published by Thomson ISI;
  • Made available to UVM patrons courtesy of Bailey-Howe Library and Dana Medical Library.

For the years 1961-1984, consult the print edition of Science Citation Index shelved in the reference collection of Dana Medical Library.  Print editions of Social Sciences Citation Index and Arts & Humanities Citation Index can be found at Bailey/Howe Library.  Consult the online catalog for additional information.

How do I access Web of Science?

  • Go to Dana Medical Library's homepage (http://library.uvm.edu/dana). 
  • Click on the link for Web of Science under Databases & E-Books.  From the Web of Knowledge portal page, click Web of Science. 
  • To access Web of Science from off-campus, you must be a UVM or University of Vermont Medical Center faculty, staff, or student.  See the Connect from Off-Campus page (http://library.uvm.edu/dana/guides/connect/index.html) on the Dana Medical Library website for details.
  • Unaffiliated patrons may use Web of Science on site at Dana Medical Library. 

What is a "citation index" anyway? 

A citation index is a unique periodical index that allows you to follow a concept backward or forward in time through the references of the articles indexed.   

The Web of Science database creates a unique record for each new article it indexes.  In addition to basic bibliographic information such as author, title, journal, publication year, and abstract (if available), Web of Science records include the complete reference list from each of the new articles.  Each of these references in turn will have its own record with its own list of references.  Web of Science then completes the cycle by making the lists of cited references searchable, thereby connecting the generations of articles.

What is cited reference searching used for?

  • track the number of times your article has been cited
  • determine who has cited your articles and at what institution they are working
  • indicate the extent to which your research is being used today by the scientific community
  • discover new sources of information that researchers working on similar projects to yours have used
  • trace the evolution of a particular topic or concept

How do I perform a cited reference search in Web of Science?

Suppose you want to determine who has cited the 2004 article in the Journal of Cell Biology by R. Dacquin, et al. 

  • Open Web of Science.  Click on Cited Reference Search. 
  • Enter the author's name, the journal in which the article was published, and the publication year. 

  • Click Search.

  • Click View Record.

  • Now click on the Times Cited: 18 link.  The 18 documents in the database that cite the article by Dacquin, et al will be displayed.  You can click on the link for each of these records and see how many times (if any) they have been cited. 
  • If you click on the Cited References:24 link, you can bring up the 24 references that were used by Dacquin, et al  for their article.  Each of these records can likewise be followed forward in time. 


General searching in Web of Science

In addition to cited reference searching, Web of Science includes capabilities for a Quick Search, General Search, or Advanced Search.  All three methods support the use of Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT and SAME, and truncation (*).  Use the drop-down boxes to select desired database and time span. 

When searching for a specific topic, author, journal or publication year, use the General Search Feature.  Enter terms or phrases in the appropriate search boxes.  Limit your search by language or document type. 

The Advanced Search feature allows you to create complicated search strategies using field tags.  The most commonly used field tags include:

  • TI=Title
  • AU=Author
  • SO=Source
  • PY=Publication Year

Additional features of Web of Science

  • Search History with ability to combine sets
  • Ability to save searches with optional automatic email updates
  • Author Finder
  • RSS feeds

Journal Citation Reports (JCR)

Journal Citation Reports is a database of journal performance metrics created and produced by Thomson ISI.  It provides the impact factor, immediacy index, and cited half-life for specific journals.  It includes lists of journals arranged by subject with the ability to sort by impact factor within the field. 

For more information about performing a cited reference search or topic search in Web of Science, or using any other library resource . . .

  • Contact a reference librarian at Dana Medical Library at 656-2201 or email danaref@uvm.edu.
  • Stop by the reference desk at Dana Medical Library Mon-Friday 10:00am -4:00 pm for personal assistance. 



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