Friday, October 7, 2011

Introducing the Scopus Database: A Powerful Research Tool

Scopus is a comprehensive database providing access to the research literature of the natural and physical sciences and the social sciences. The database currently provides over 45 million citation records and indexes:

  • over 18,000 peer-reviewed journals
  • over 400 trade publications
  • over 300 book series
Also included are citations for:

  • over 4.6 million conference papers from proceedings and journals
  • over 24 million patent records from five patent offices
  • articles in press from over 3,800 journals
  • and over 350 million scientific web pages indexed through the Scirus search engine.
Scopus is a major acquisition that will benefit the entire campus population. For the first time we are offering a specialized science index that covers every discipline offered by the College of Science and Health, including biology, chemistry, communication disorders, computer science, environmental science, kinesiology, mathematics, nursing, physics, public health, and a wide array of allied fields. Coverage of the social sciences is also comprehensive and interdisciplinary, and since 2009 Scopus has also begun adding publications in the arts and humanities that now represent over 2,700 titles (or 15 percent of the entire title list in the database).

Links to full-text resources are provided where available. Records for materials published from 1996 to the present include cited references, and Scopus supports citation tracking across this time period, along with other tools enabling students and faculty to track, analyze and visualize research. For example, authors can be evaluated according to documents published, the h-index measure of impact, and citations across time. Scopus' Journal Analyzer offers users six criteria - measuring prestige, citation impact, total citations, documents published per year, percent of documents not cited, and percent of published documents that are review articles - to enable the comparative assessment of journals.

Scopus also provides personal accounts that can used to create alerts for user-defined search criteria, document citations, and author citations. Personal accounts can also be used to create and store result lists built from searches.

On October 11 at 3:30 pm the Cheng Library will be offering a training workshop on using Scopus, but there is no need to wait until then to begin exploring and learning more about the database! There are several online training tutorials (requiring the latest version of the free Adobe® Flash® Player) available for anyone to use, as well as a paper format Quick Reference Guide (8 pages, PDF format) and a more detailed User Guide (24 pages, PDF format). Give Scopus a try, let us know what you think, and please contact Richard Kearney (x 2165 / kearneyr at wpunj dot edu) if you have any questions or would like to set up a training session for your class.