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HLT330 Research Skills Guide: Scopus

Introduction to Scopus

Scopus is a citation index. This means that, if you find an article of interest, you can look at subsequent articles that have cited it. 

It does not contain the full-text of articles, so you will need to use the Find it @ CSU links to locate full-text.

Scopus is a multi-subject database, covering health sciences, life sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences & humanities. 

CSU Library also subscribes to the Web of Science Core Collection, which is an alternative citation index.

Scopus - More Help

For individual help with using SCOPUS, please contact the Library or use the Ask a Librarian forum in the HLT330 subject i2 site.

Searching in Scopus

  • The default is to Document Search, which is similar to Advanced Search in other databases. You can add further search lines.
  • The default is to search in Title, Abstract, and Keywords. This is useful, but can be changed.
  • The default is to a keyword search so if you want to search for a phrase, enclose it in double quotation marks.
  • You can do a Proximity Search: the proximity operator is W/n, where n is the number of words you specify. Eg. pregnan* W/4 imaging.
  • In Scopus, there are some limiters that can be used as part of a search, but many more that can be applied to a set of results. 
  • Scopus does not contain links to the full-text of articles. For each result, you will need to use the Find it - CSU link to search for the full article in other CSU Library databases.
  • If you wish to save searches or set up search alerts, you need to register with Elsevier. Here's how:
  1. At the top right of screen, click on Create account.
  2. Follow the instructions and prompts to register.

Using Scopus to Find Citing Articles

When you get a results list in Scopus, one of the columns that displays is the Cited by. This shows the number of articles (indexed in Scopus) that have cited the article. Clicking on the number will display brief records of those citing articles.

The results list will, by default, be sorted by Date (Newest). You can use the drop-down menu to change the sort order to Cited by (highest) or Cited by (lowest).

You can use this feature of Scopus to:

  • follow a research path forwards and find related articles
  • find seminal articles on a topic.

In the screen-shot below, the search was for:
pregnan* W/4 imaging

the results have been sorted by Cited by (highest).