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

Meester, Wim (ELS-AMS) W.Meester at ELSEVIER.COM
Wed Feb 23 04:08:57 EST 2011

Dear Geoff,


In Scopus "Active" is defined as any title with a published item in the
last three calendar years. So for 2011, titles are considered active if
there are published items in 2009 or later. In the current title list
there are almost 19,000 active titles of which almost 18,000 journals.
Please note that an updated title list will be available in the next few


You can compare database coverage using the JISC Academic Database
Assessment Tool ( Via this tool you can find
that there are just over 11,000 active titles in WOS. Scopus will update
the data provided to JISC in the coming weeks to reflect the current


As for the Arts & Humanities content in Scopus, there are just over
1,600 core A&H titles in Scopus. You can search for A&H records in
Scopus by using SUBJTERMS(XXXX) in Advances Search, where XXXX are the
ASJC subject classification codes 1200 - 1213 (these can be found in the
Scopus title list). There are in total over 2 million A&H records in


Kind regards,



Wim J.N. Meester

Senior Product Manager - Scopus


Radarweg 29

1043 NX  Amsterdam, The Netherlands

w.meester at <>  




From: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics
[mailto:SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU] On Behalf Of Loet Leydesdorff
Sent: 23 February 2011 08:34
Subject: Re: [SIGMETRICS] How many journals do Web of Science and Scopus
really cover?


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 WoS." 


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
loet at <mailto: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 cover?


numbers being bandied about for these two platforms. 


This suggests 18,000 titles including 17,000 peer reviewed ones (as at
July 2010)

>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?



Elsevier B.V. Registered Office: Radarweg 29, 1043 NX Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Registration No. 33156677 (The Netherlands)

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