Skip to main content
Caltech Library logo

Web of Science @ Caltech: Searching

A brief guide to getting started with Web of Science for members of the Caltech community.

Basic Web of Science Search

You can access Web of Science here - if you are off-campus, you will be prompted for your access.caltech credentials.

Web of Science allows you to construct a Boolean search using several fields. To add additional fields to your search, click + Add Another Field under the default search box:

Web of Science - Add Field

SOURCE: Web of Science on the Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge platform, Copyright ©2014 Thomson Reuters All rights reserved.

Some fields are self-explanatory, such as Author, Editor, Publication Name, and Year Published, but some other ones might be new to you:

  • Topic: This will search within the Title, Abstract, and Keywords of an article's record. This includes both author-supplied keywords and Web of Science-assigned keywords (Keywords Plus).
  • Title: This refers to the article title - journal titles are searched for using Publication Name.
  • Author Identifiers: An Author Identifier is a unique character string that is used to uniquely identify an author, particularly when the author has a common name or initials. Examples of Identifiers are ResearcherID and ORCID.
  • Group Author: Some large research groups or institutions publish under the name of their research collaboration. This is common in fields such as high-energy physics, with Group Authors such as the Fermilab Lattice Collaboration.
  • DOI: DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier and acts as a permanent link to a digital object such as a website, PDF, or other type of digital file. They usually look like this: 10.1021/jo00800a036.
  • Organization-Enhanced: Web of Science has attempted to decipher all the different school and company abbreviations that have appeared throughout the literature. For example, "Caltech" could be listed as "California Institute of Technology" or "Calif Inst Tech". In the past, you'd have to search for ALL those iterations, but now, searching one will (usually) cross-reference the rest. Web of Science has a little more information about this here.
  • Document Type:This is where you can specify a specific type of publication. The most common ones you will probably look for are:
    • Article: This is your original experimental research article.
    • Review: A review of existing literature.
    • Letter: A (non-peer reviewed) letter to the editorial board of a publication, usually expressing an option or providing a personal perspective. Does NOT mean it was published in a journal with "Letters" in the title.
    • News Item: A (non-peer reviewed) article about original research, usually written in a more journalistic style for non-specialists. Nature and Science often contain these kinds of articles in addition to original research papers.
    Web of Science has a full listing of Document Types here.
  • Accession Number: This refers to a specific Web of Science record (not an article). Most databases assign these numbers to their records about articles that are database-specific. This is useful only if you are given a specific number for which to search.

For more information on Search Fields, see here.

Donna Wrublewski