Google Scholar Meets Web of Science


Most graduate students rely on Google Scholar as their Number #1 database for finding research articles. It is easy to use and covers a wide range of disciplines.  One of the more helpful features of Google Scholar(GS) is that it connects to another database, Web of Science.

Web of Science (WOS) is a subscription database that searches over 12,000 journals across multiple scientific disciplines, the social sciences, humanities and education.

Maximize your search by using them together. Each time you search Google Scholar, pay close attention to the row of links at the bottom of each article summary.  This row of links includes information on how to cite the article and save it to a citation manager.  It shows different versions of the article, related articles and how many times the article has been cited.  There is also information on how many of those citing references appear in WOS.  Click on that WOS link to see references in the WOS interface, where you can use advanced filters to sort citations by author, scientific discipline or subject and date.  In WOS you can analyze a list of search results by author, institution or publication venue.  This means you can quickly see what researchers and what institutions are publishing on a certain topic.

Using the Web of Science links in Google Scholar increases the effectiveness of your search.  As WOS is a paid subscription database, you must log in to GS to see these links.  To log into GS or WOS open them from the Database A-Z list on the library homepage.  You can also set your GS profile to recognize you as a UIC student.  Searching GS through UIC increases the amount of full text links you will get in any search.

Another reason to use both GS and WOS is that they don’t index all of the same journals. There is substantial overlap, as the WOS links in GS attest, but if you do a search in WOS you will get a different results than if you do the same search in GS.  This is a good argument for expanding your search to a third or fourth database, especially if your search topic is interdisciplinary in nature.

Don’t stop with Google Scholar and Web of Science.  What about PubMed? SciFinder? ScienceDirect? On the library website is the Database A-Z List that lists all the databases by name.  If you want to browse databases by subject use the Research & Subject Guides to find databases that cover biology, chemistry, physics, bioinformatics and other fields.

Email me if you have any questions about using Google Scholar or Web of Science or any other database or library resource.