Introduction to Scopus
Scopus is known as a citation index because each article record includes lists of citing articles. This means that, if you find an article of interest, you can look at subsequent articles that have cited it. You can find important articles on a topic, and follow research paths.
It does not contain the full-text of articles, so you will need to use the links to get the full-text.
Scopus is a multi-subject database, but does cover the Health Sciences - medicine, dentistry, nursing, veterinary science, and the health professions - as well as the 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.
Searching in Scopus
- The default is to Document Search, which is similar to Advanced Search in other databases. You can add lines of search.
- The default is to search in Title, Abstract, and Keywords, which is possibly the best way to search in a database. You can change this if you wish.
- The default is to a keyword search so if you want to search for a phrase, enclose it in double quotation marks (").
- 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. When you have run a search, you can choose to Limit to, or Exclude, certain results.
- You can do a Proximity Search: the proximity operator is W/n, where n is the number of words you specify. Eg. "clinical judgement" W/3 "decision making"
- Scopus itself does not have the full-text of articles. For each result, you will need to use the link to search for the full article in other CSU Library databases.
- You can do as much searching as you like, and return to the results later. Your previous searches appear in the Search history panel beneath the search panel.
- If you wish to save searches or set up search alerts, you need to register with Elsevier. Here's how:
- At the top right of screen, click on Sign in.
- Follow the instructions and prompts to register.
- Your email address will be your username. Make sure you remember your password for future use!
Using Scopus to find citing articles
In Scopus, the results list defaults to sorting by Relevance. But one of the columns that displays is the Cited by column. 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.
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
"clinical judgement" W/3 "decision making" [in Title, Abstract, Keywords]
and the results have been sorted by Cited by.