How many journals do Web of Science and Scopus really cover?

Loet Leydesdorff loet at LEYDESDORFF.NET
Wed Feb 23 02:33:45 EST 2011

Dear Geoff, 


Yes, there are several restrictions in place when one actually retrieves the
data. In a recent study about the Arts & Humanities Citation Index (at, we first compared the coverage, and


"Despite the realized extension to 1,935 journals, the retrieval for Scopus
has remained smaller than that possible from the Web of Science (WoS). At
the time of this research (21 November 2010), the retrieval in 2010 for this
subject area was 33,494 using Scopus versus 100,948 using the AHCI at the


The AHCI has been pretty stable at 1000+ journals in the core ( 100,000+)
records since the 1980s. Additionally, some journals are selectively
covered. We use "subjarea(arts)" for retrieving the "arts and humanities" in
Scopus and consulted some colleagues at Scopus. I checked the numbers today
and they are now:43,918 (Scopus) and 112,088 (WoS) for 2010. 


It is a bit puzzling. 


Best wishes, 




Loet Leydesdorff 

Professor, University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR), 
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam. 
Tel.: +31-20- 525 6598; fax: +31-842239111
 <mailto:loet at> loet at ;


From: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics
[mailto:SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU] On Behalf Of Geoffrey Peters
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:47 PM
Subject: [SIGMETRICS] How many journals do Web of Science and Scopus really


being bandied about for these two platforms. 


This suggests 18,000 titles including 17,000 peer reviewed ones (as at July

>From their title list (a handy excel file)
This lists just under 30,000 titles (as at October 2010), of which around
27,500 are journals, of which only 18,000 of these are designated as active.
How is active defined? 

Web of Science

this suggests >10,000 titles plus 110,000's of proceedings issues

But their 'Master Journal List', see:
gives a rather precise value of 16,512

How many of these 16,512 are 'active' titles, and how many are from other
ISI products other than Web of Science? 

On the face of it, with Scopus covering around 18,000 titles, and Web of
Science 16,500  they looked to be about the same size, at least in current
content. Is this a fair assumption?



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