Scopus or Web of Science: which should you prefer?
A very good study that I missed in 2009.
Vieira, Eliszabeth S. and Gomes, José A.N. A comparison of Scopus and Web of science for a typical university. Scientometrics, Vol.81, N°2, 2009, pp. 587-600
“For many years, the ISI Web of Knowledge from Thomson Reuters was the sole publication and citation database covering all areas of science thus becoming an invaluable tool in bibliometric analysis.
In 2004, Elsevier introduced Scopus and this is rapidly becoming a good alternative.(…)
This paper attempts to answer the question that all researchers ask, i.e., what is to be gained by searching both databases? Or, if you are forced to opt for one of them, which should you prefer?”
- 2/3 of documents are referenced in both databases
- Coverage of some journals in Scopus can be partial
- WoS covers mainly North America and Western European
- Google Scholar has a good coverage for Proceedings, as well as international, non-English language journals
- Ranking of publications are quite similar in Scopus and WoS, not in Google Scholar
- Scopus provides the best coverage in Social Sciences
- There are more journals covered in Scopus than in WoS
- Most of Journals covered by Scopus and not by WoS have a good citation record and are classified in the area Health Sciences.
- Most of documents referenced only in WoS are proceeding-like with no citations
“The general conclusion is that Scopus has a larger coverage, representing, on average, 104% of WoS”.