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ProducerElsevier (Netherlands)
History10 November 2004; 19 years ago (2004-11-10)
Languages40 languages
DisciplinesLife sciences; social sciences; physical sciences; health sciences
Record depth41,462 indexed titles (2021)
Format coveragecsv, BibText, ASCII, RIS
Temporal coverage1788–present
Geospatial coverageWorldwide
No. of records82.4 million
Update frequencydaily
Title list(s)www.scopus.com/sources

Scopus is an abstract and citation database launched by the academic publisher Elsevier in 2004.[1]

Journals in Scopus are reviewed for sufficient quality each year according to four numerical measures: h-Index, CiteScore, SJR (SCImago Journal Rank) and SNIP (source normalized impact per paper). For this reason, the journals listed in Scopus are considered to meet the requirement for peer review quality established by several research grant agencies for their grant recipients and by degree-accreditation boards in a number of countries.[2]

Scopus also allows patent searches in a dedicated patent database, Lexis-Nexis, albeit with limited functionality.[3]


Comparing ease of use and coverage of Scopus and the Web of Science (WOS), a 2006 study concluded that "Scopus is easy to navigate, even for the novice user. ... The ability to search both forward and backward from a particular citation would be very helpful to the researcher. The multidisciplinary aspect allows the researcher to easily search outside of his discipline" and "One advantage of WOS over Scopus is the depth of coverage, with the full WOS database going back to 1945 and Scopus going back to 1966. However, Scopus and WOS complement each other as neither resource is all-inclusive."[4] A small number of studies found ca. 80-90% overlap in coverage between WoS and Scopus for the period between 1990 and 2020.

In terms of the structured query language search capabilities Scopus is somewhat more advanced than Web of Science: for example, WoS can perform only NEAR/n queries, Scopus can also do PRE/n queries.[5]

Also, when the same article is covered in Scopus and in the Web of Science (WoS), its Scopus entry has a 3-5 larger number of keywords than its WoS coverage, and the Scopus keywords are more focused on the specific article content, whereas WoS has more keywords related to the broad category of the article's subject. A larger number of narrow-targeted keywords allows Scopus users to find a larger number of relevant publications, while filtering out false positives. On the other hand, WoS exports (e.g. in the ris format) the doi numbers of cited articles, while Scopus exports the titles of cited articles. Also, Scopus allows exporting 20,000 references (e.g. as a ris file) at once, while WoS export is limited to 5,000 references at once. On the other hand, WoS exports the doi's of cited references, while Scopus exports the titles of cited references.

Scopus provides chemical search by CAS number and by chemical name, while WoS does not have these features. On the other hand, WoS has chemical structure search, but only a small number of publications are actually indexed for chemical structure searches. SciFinder is the preferred option for chemical searches is all cases.

Scopus also offers author profiles which cover affiliations, number of publications and their bibliographic data, references, and details on the number of citations each published document has received. It has alerting features that allow registered users to track changes to a profile and a facility to calculate authors' h-index. In 2016, a gratis website, Scopus CiteScore,[6] was introduced. It provides citation data for all 25,000+ active titles such as journals, conference proceedings and books in Scopus and provides an alternative to the impact factor, a journal-level indicator which may correlate negatively with reliability.[7]

Scopus IDs for individual authors can be integrated with the non-proprietary digital identifier ORCID.[8]

In 2018, Scopus started embedding partial information about the open access status of works, using Unpaywall data.[9] However, Scopus' ris export files do not contain the information about Open Access status.

Content selection and advisory board[edit]

Since Elsevier is the owner of Scopus and is also one of the main international publishers of scientific journals, an independent and international Scopus Content Selection and advisory board (CSAB) was established in 2009 to prevent a potential conflict of interest in the choice of journals to be included in the database and to maintain an open and transparent content coverage policy, regardless of publisher.[10] The board consists of scientists and subject librarians. Nevertheless, critique over a perceived conflict of interest has continued.[11]

CSAB team is responsible for inclusion and exclusion of different titles on Scopus. The list of journals and books indexed in Scopus is updated 2 to 3 times per year. Each year Scopus receives around 3,500 submissions for new titles to be included and accepts approximately 25% of them.[12] The re-evaluation policy is based on four criteria of Publication Concern, Under Performance, Outlier Performance and Continuous curation. Between 2004 and 2020, Scopus included 41,525 and excluded 688 titles[13] Between 2016 and 2023, the CSAB has re-evaluated 990 titles published by 539 different publishers, leading to 536 titles discontinued for indexing.[14] In 2024 Scopus covered around 28,000 active journals and nearly 300,000 books.

Nevertheless, research continues to show the inclusion of predatory journals.[15][16]

While marketed as a global point of reference, Scopus and WoS have been characterised as "structurally biased against research produced in non-Western countries, non-English language research, and research from the arts, humanities, and social sciences".[17]

Derived citation metrics[edit]

or Science-wide author databases of standardized citation indicators


CiteScore (CS) of an academic journal is a measure reflecting the yearly average number of citations to recent articles published in that journal. It is produced by Elsevier, based on the citations recorded in the Scopus database. Absolute rankings and percentile ranks are also reported for each journal in a given subject area.[18]

This journal evaluation metric was launched in December 2016 as an alternative to the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) impact factor (IF), calculated by Clarivate. CiteScore is based on the citations collected for articles published in the preceding four years, instead of two or five in the JCR IF. This enhanced methodology was introduced with the release of CiteScore 2019 in June 2020. At launch, CiteScore's neutrality was questioned by bibliometrics experts like Carl Bergstrom, who found it appeared to favour Elsevier's titles over Nature's.[19]

SCImago Journal Rank[edit]


Recently, an investigation published by "Scholarly Criticism" uncovers that Elsevier is involved in unethical and unlawful practices of promoting its self-published journals by indexing these journals in Scopus which is owned by Elsevier. This develops an interesting situation. According to the "Scholarly Criticism", Elsevier indexed its journal "Heliyon" (start year: 2015) in Scopus within a few months of its inception, without following its own rules prescribed for non-Elsevier journals, indexing in Scopus with just one citation and four published issues in 2015. This is controversial because Scopus is considered as a credible resource to identify high quality journals by many universities, countries, and governments. It is important to mention that Heliyon charges an open access fee of USD 2,100 which is not a small amount. The report published by Scholarly Criticism cites evidence that this is a "violation" and "conflict of interest" of publishing ethics and moral principle.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Goodman, David; Deis, Louise (1 January 2005). "Web of Science (2004 version) and Scopus". The Charleston Advisor. 6 (3): 5–21. Archived from the original on 12 August 2023. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  2. ^ [1] Archived 2 July 2022 at the Wayback Machine; [2] Archived 19 May 2023 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Kulkarni, A. V.; Aziz, B.; Shams, I.; Busse, J. W. (2009). "Comparisons of Citations in Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar for Articles Published in General Medical Journals". JAMA. 302 (10): 1092–6. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1307. PMID 19738094.
  4. ^ Burnham, JF (2006). "Scopus database: A review". Biomedical Digital Libraries. 3: 1. doi:10.1186/1742-5581-3-1. PMC 1420322. PMID 16522216.
  5. ^ Echchakoui, Saïd (2020). "Why and how to merge Scopus and Web of Science during bibliometric analysis: The case of sales force literature from 1912 to 2019". Journal of Marketing Analytics. 8 (3): 165–184. doi:10.1057/s41270-020-00081-9. S2CID 256510471. Archived from the original on 18 May 2023. Retrieved 18 May 2023.
  6. ^ "Sources". Scopus. Archived from the original on 27 December 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  7. ^ Brembs, Björn (2018). "Prestigious Science Journals Struggle to Reach Even Average Reliability". Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 12: 37. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2018.00037. PMC 5826185. PMID 29515380.
  8. ^ "Scopus2Orcid". Scopus. Archived from the original on 24 July 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  9. ^ Else, Holly (15 August 2018). "How Unpaywall is transforming open science". Nature. 560 (7718): 290–291. Bibcode:2018Natur.560..290E. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05968-3. PMID 30111793.
  10. ^ "Scopus Content Overview: Content Policy and Selection". Scopus Info. Elsevier. Archived from the original on 24 April 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Elsevier are corrupting open science in Europe". TheGuardian.com. 29 June 2018. Archived from the original on 5 January 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  12. ^ Wilches-Visbal JH, Pérez-Anaya O, Castillo-Pedraza MC. DISCONTINUED REASONS OF JOURNALS IN SCOPUS: ANALYSIS AND REFLECTIONS. Bibl, An Investig. 2024;20(1) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/377727326_Discontinued_reasons_of_journals_in_SCOPUS_analysis_and_reflections?enrichId=rgreq-3545ee0db7d9f06d060445d5327f9219-XXX&enrichSource=Y292ZXJQYWdlOzM3NzcyNzMyNjtBUzoxMTQzMTI4MTIyMDIzODc5NkAxNzA2MzI0NjAxNDg1&el=1_x_2&_esc=publicationCoverPdf
  13. ^ "extlistJune2021". Archived from the original on 21 July 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  14. ^ "The importance of high-quality content: curation and reevaluation in Scopus" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 October 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  15. ^ "IDEA Study 2 2017 Predatory journals in Scopus". idea-en.cerge-ei.cz. Archived from the original on 27 July 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2021.
  16. ^ Singh Chawla, Dalmeet (8 February 2021). "Hundreds of 'predatory' journals indexed on leading scholarly database". Nature. doi:10.1038/d41586-021-00239-0. PMID 33558751. S2CID 231871351.
  17. ^ Tennant, Jonathan P. (27 October 2020). "Web of Science and Scopus are not global databases of knowledge". European Science Editing. 46: e51987. doi:10.3897/ese.2020.e51987. ISSN 2518-3354.
  18. ^ "How are CiteScore metrics used in Scopus?". Scopus: Access and use Support Center. 29 July 2022. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  19. ^ Straumsheim, Carl. "How to Measure Impact". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  20. ^ "Elsevier Unethically Promotes its Journals via Scopus: The Case of Heliyon". Scholarly Criticism Articles. Scholarly Criticism: A Watchdog on published Business Research. Retrieved 23 April 2024.

External links[edit]