Library Notes for Political Science

Teaching resources, news, and links to keep McGill’s Political Scientists informed

Better know a database: Web of Knowledge updates

Posted by Megan on April 17, 2011

Thomson Reuters (formerly ISI) recently announced updates to its Web of Knowledge (aka Web of Science) search interface. Some changes include:

  • Improved author searching to distinguish by affiliation, middle initial, subject area, etc. Citation reports now include a total count for Citing Articles.
  • All search terms are searched. “Stopwords” are gone so a search on Vitamin A gets Vitamin A.
  • Both right- and left-hand truncation using wildcards. For example: *oxide matches peroxide, sulfoxide, nitric oxide, etc.
  • Support of the NEAR proximity operator that find records where terms are within a specified number of words of each other.
  • Automatically search for spelling variations (such as U.S. and U.K. spelling differences)

The old interface with still be available throughout 2011.

The Web of Knowledge suite is the granddaddy of citation databases. Although better known in the natural sciences, it is an important tool for social science research, particularly for tracking cited references and analyzing citation patterns. Over 6,000 humanities and social sciences journals are included in the index, which can be searched separately from the natural science content.

Sample citation report for an author

Sample search results page. Noticed "cited by" links

Report of top cited articles amongst search results for a keyword

Top institutions amongst search results for a keyword


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