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

Loet Leydesdorff loet at LEYDESDORFF.NET
Wed Feb 23 10:21:07 EST 2011

Dear Wim, 


This clearly answers question 1: there is a Scopus+ version including CSA
Illumina. For the A&H this is more than twice the size as Scopus without it.


I downloaded the excel with the list information and then obtain the 1948
journals that I reported before. How come that these journals contained only
43,918 records in 2010. Or is this also including the CSA Illumina? If so,
what is the number of Scopus journals in this category and how can one
retrieve this number online? 


I hope that you appreciate this questioning. On this list, we are all
interested in understanding and if possible improving these databases. 


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] On Behalf Of Meester, Wim (ELS-AMS)
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 3:06 PM
Subject: Re: [SIGMETRICS] How many journals do Web of Science and Scopus
really cover?


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
y/pdf/sccg0510.pdf> .


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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