Get started

Welcome to the guided tour of Web of Science! This tutorial walks you through some features of the database. Video tutorials are available at Web of Knowledge Training.

To access Web of Science:
- Click on Databases and Articles
- Click on W
- Click on Web of Science.

If you're off-campus, you'll need to log on with your PSU credentials at this point.

Does your screen look like this now?

WoS screenshot

If so, click on the arrow at the bottom of this panel to continue with a guided search.

If not, here are some troubleshooting suggestions:
- Try getting here again from the library home page.
- Use the buttons in the upper right corner to chat, email, call, or text a librarian.
- If you're having trouble logging in, email

Keyword searching

To get started, enter keywords in the search box. Keep in mind that Web of Science doesn't understand a question the way a person does. Enter only the words that express important concepts in your research question, and put exact phrases in quotation marks. The database will retrieve the articles that contain all of your terms.

Make sure that the drop-down menu next to the search box is set to "Topic." This means that the database will search for your keywords in the title, abstract, and keywords fields of the database.

WoS menu

Before you search, consider adding limits. For example, you can limit your search to only articles published in 2012.

WoS date limiter

Click Search!


Refine your results

It is very common to start with a broad search and then narrow down your results. You can see the number of articles retrieved on the left side of the results page. Below that, there are a number of filters that can help you refine your results.

For example, you can click on a Web of Science category, then click "Refine" to search within your results for articles that have been tagged with that subject term.

WoS refine

Scan the first page of results to see whether the titles look relevant to your topic. When you are satisfied that you have a reasonable number of relevant results, click on an article title to read the abstract for more information.

To get the full text of an article, click on the find it @ psu button button at the top of the page.

Web of Science Tools

Web of Science offers powerful tools to analyze search results and article citations. Look for the links in the upper right corner of the search results page:

WoS analyze

Click "Analyze Results" to rank your search results in various ways. For example, if you rank by author, you will see who has published the most papers on your topic. If you rank by Web of Science category, you will see which disciplines are doing the most research on your topic. Ranking by publication years will show you the trend of how the scientific community has gained or lost interest in your topic.

Click "Create Citation Report" for data on publications and citations by year. At the top of the page you will see summary data and below that you will find data for each article in your result list.

Click on any article title to see not just the abstract and bibliographic info, but also information about its cited references and the number of times it has been cited since publication. The blue box on the right side of the page has links to these lists as well as a citation map that presents this information visually.



Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.