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Scopus: About Scopus

What is It?


Hamerkop standing in a stream in Zambia, Thumbnail for version as of 15:27, 25 November 2012

The name, Scopus, was inspired by the bird, Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta), which supposedly has excellent navigation skills. [Burnham JF. Scopus database: a review. Biomed Digit Libr. 2006 Mar 8;3:1. doi:10.1186/1742-5581-3-1]

Why use Scopus?

This guide is to help researchers learn about searching Scopus, managing results, setting email alerts and citation alerts, etc.

  • Use Scopus to search on your topic when you want search results that are interdisciplinary and include international literature, as detailed below.
  • Use Scopus when you would like to see results ranked by times cited and relevance and as well as by date.
  • Look up an important paper on Scopus and see the reference list as well as the forward cites to the paper.
  • Use Scopus to set citation alerts. Who is citing your work?

About Scopus

Scopus is a large abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed journal articles, books, conference proceedings and patents. It includes:

  • 28,000,000 records with references after 1995
  • 21,000,000 pre-1996 records (back to 1823)
  • Nearly 20,500 different journals from 5000 publishers, including open source
  • 5.3 million conference papers (proceedings and journals)

Scopus is international in scope.

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Parts of this guide were taken from:
Elsevier page about Scopus content:
Lister Hill Library Scopus guide:
University of Washington Health Sciences Library Scopus guide-

Journal Selection Criteria

To be included, a journal must:

  • have English abstracts
  • have at least 1 issue per year
  • have strong ethics – non-predatory
  • be peer-reviewed!!

Scopus also covers scholarly monographs (and excludes undergrad textbooks).