Save Search History

A search history is a search query or sequence of queries that you save to either the Web of Knowledge server or to the hard drive of your computer. There is no limit to the number of search histories you can save. To save a search history to our server, you must be a registered user and you must sign in.

This Help page contains the following topics.


Saving Histories on Our Server

  1. Enter a name (without a file extension) in the History Name field. The name can be a single word or a phrase.

  2. Enter a description in the Description field. This step is optional.

  3. Click the Save button.

  4. Click the Done button to complete the process when the Server Save Confirmation page notifies you that your search history is saved.

Did You Know ...Web of Knowledge automatically knows what product the search history belongs to and the number of queries the history contains.


Saving Histories on Your Workstation

  1. Click the Save button under the Save on Your Workstation label to open a dialog box.

  2. Click the Save button on the dialog box. Note that some browsers may have a Save File button.

  3. In the next dialog box, navigate to the folder where you want to store the search history file.

  4. You will see the default file name (for example, history.wos) in the File Name field. You can rename the file, but do not change the extension (for example, you can rename the file to Supernova.wos).

  5. Click the Save button.


Saving History Alerts

If your organization subscribes to the alerting service, you can save a search history as an alert. The alert automatically searches the latest update to the database, and then sends all relevant results to you by e-mail. For example, if your search history is on Nanotechnology, the system will send you all new articles on this topic.

Note: Alerting is not available for searches that you created from an All Databases search in Web of Knowledge.


To Save an Alert:

  1. Select the Send Me E-mail Alerts check box.

  2. Enter an e-mail address in the Send to E-mail Address field. Use a semicolon (;) and a space to separate multiple addresses. The default value for this field is your registration / sign-in e-mail address.

  3. Select an Alert type (some alert types may not be available for certain products).

  4. Select an E-mail format (some formats may not be available for certain products).

  5. Select an E-mail Frequency option.

  6. Click the Save button to save the alert to our workstation. Do not save the history file to your workstation because you will not receive e-mail alerts when new records are added to the product database.

Alert Error Message

If you see an error message that says "The limit for the number of alerts has been reached," then your institution has either not purchased the Alerts feature or you have reached the maximum number of alerts purchased. Contact your System Administrator about your interest in creating alerts.


Updating History Alerts

You can change alert settings at any time. 

  1. Click the My Saved Searches link that appears on the menu bar at the top of any Web of Knowledge page.

  2. From the Open / Manage Saved Searches page, find the alert you want to update, and then click the Settings button under the Modify Settings column.

  3. From the Modify History Settings page, select or clear the Send Me E-mail Alerts check box.

  4. Update the History Name and/or History Description fields if needed.

  5. Click the Save button to save your changes to our server.


Alerts and Combine Sets

Only the results of the last search statement in a combination search strategy are included in an e-mail alert. For example, for the alert below, the results of set 3 would be e-mailed to you but the results of sets 1 and 2 would not be included in the alert.


Search History


#1 AND #2






Alert Types

Notify Only

Notification that this week's results are available. If results are available, log onto Web of Knowledge and then open and run the search history. Be aware that the number of results reported in the e-mail may not be the same as the number of results you get when you perform the search because you may have selected different database limits or a different timespan before running the alert.


Bibliographic information includes author names, article titles, source information, document type, language, Thomson Reuters Document Solution® number, and ISSN/ISBN. This is the default setting.

Biblio + Abstract

Bibliographic information and author abstract.

Full Record

Bibliographic information, author abstract, keywords, address information, and publisher information.


E-mail Formats

Plain Text

An ASCII text file.


Hypertext Markup Language. This format is suitable for display by a Web browser.

ISI ResearchSoft

A field-delimited format that can be imported directly into a reference management applications such as:

  • EndNote®
  • ProCite®
  • Reference Manager®
  • RefWorks
  • Sente
  • Biblioscape

ISI ResearchSoft is the same format as Field Tagged.

Field Tagged

A field-delimited format suitable for use with reference management applications such as:

  • EndNote
  • ProCite
  • Reference Manager

If you use one of these Thomson Reuters products, then we recommend that you select the Field Tagged format to simplify the import process.


E-mail Frequency Options

The Frequency options that you see on the Save Search History page will depend on which product database you have searched. For example, if you are saving a search history from Web of Science, you will see Weekly and Monthly options. However, if you are saving a search history from Derwent Innovations Index, you will see Each Update and Every 4 Updates options.


Select this option to receive an email if the search retrieves records added since the previous day's update.

Only available for Current Contents Connect.


Select this option to receive an email once a week notifying you that new records have been added to the product database since the date of the previous e-mail.


Select this option to receive an email once a month notifying you that new records have been added to the product database since the date of the previous e-mail.

Each Update

Select this option to receive an e-mail each time the Derwent Innovations Index database is updated. Only available for Derwent Innovations Index customers.

Every 4 Updates

Select this option to receive an e-mail after every fourth update to the Derwent Innovations Index database. Only available for Derwent Innovations Index customers.

Important Notes

Be aware that if you change the Frequency option after the alert has been activated:

  • You may receive duplicate alerts if you elect to receive alerts less frequently (for example, change from Weekly to Monthly).

  • You may miss alerts if you elect to receive alerts more frequently. For example, if you change from Monthly to Weekly, the first weekly alert you receive may not contain all relevant records since the last monthly alert was sent to you. This gap only occurs once. After you start receiving weekly alerts, you will not miss any relevant records.


Search History File Extensions

Remember, the default file name is always history (for example, history.wos). You can rename the file, but do not change the extension.

Product and File Extension

  • All Databases (.ua)
  • Biological Abstracts (.bioabs)
  • BIOSIS Citation Index (.bci)
  • BIOSIS Previews (.biosis)
  • CABI  (.cabi)
  • Chinese Science Citatin Index (.cscd)
  • Current Contents Connect (.ccc)
  • Food and Science Technology Abstracts (.fsta)
  • Inspec (.inspec)
  • MEDLINE (.medline)
  • Web of Science (.wos)
  • Zoological Record (.zoorec)


Reminder - Register and Sign In

To view your saved searches, you must be a registered user and you must sign in.



You cannot use the following characters in a saved search history name.

Ampersand ( & )
Left angle bracket ( < )
Right angle bracket ( > )
Quotation marks ( " ) 


Search Limits and Alerts

If you set a search limit before creating an alert that limit will apply whenever the alert is run. For example, you perform a search in Web of Science but only select the Science Citation Index Expanded database. When that citation database is updated with new records, you will receive an e-mail alert if records relevant to your search history are found. However, you will not receive an e-mail alert when other citation databases in Web of Science are updated.

Remember, it doesn't matter what timespan is in effect when you create the alert. Alerts always run against the latest update to the product database.