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

Meester, Wim (ELS-AMS) W.Meester at ELSEVIER.COM
Wed Feb 23 09:06:02 EST 2011

Dear Loet,


The difference between WOS and Scopus can be explained by the different classification schemes that are used. The Scopus classification scheme is based on the ASJC codes and there maybe titles for example in Social Sciences category that may be classified as A&H in other schemes. With the different classification schemes in the two databases, it will be difficult to do a fair comparison on the subject field level.


The explanation for the different numbers we came up with, is the records from the CSA Illumina databases which can be searched on Scopus by mutual Scopus and CSA customers. When CSA records are excluded from the Scopus Advanced Search, indeed 870,007 A&H records are retrieved.


More information about the classification scheme and the coverage of CSA Illumina databases can also be found in the Scopus Content Coverage Guide <> .


My apologies for the confusion and I hope this answers your questions about the coverage in Scopus. 


Kind regards,




From: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics [mailto:SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU] On Behalf Of Loet Leydesdorff
Sent: 23 February 2011 10:52
Subject: Re: [SIGMETRICS] How many journals do Web of Science and Scopus really cover?


Thank you so much, Wim.


Ø  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 Scopus.


If I follow this instruction, I obtain not 2 million, but 870,007 records using Advanced Search in Scopus. Of these, 43,918 in 2010. This is exactly the number which I reported earlier today. 


Can you, please, clarify further? (1) What causes the difference between > 2 million and < 1 million? (2) Why is the coverage of the A&H larger in the WoS despite the much lower number of active journals?


Best wishes, 



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

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