Basic Search

Search for records from our product indexes. All successful searches are added to the Search History table. Remember to follow all applicable search rules when creating your search queries.

You can select up to three fields on the Search page as your default search fields. You can enter up to 6,000 terms in a search query.

Adding a new field also sets the second field to the AND operator. You can change the AND operator to OR or NOT.

Please note that your settings are applied to all product databases in your subscription package.

Note: Administrators may set to display one to three search fields as the default search fields for their entire institution.


Default Number of Search Fields to Display

This feature allows you to select the number of search fields to display when you begin a new search. You can always add more fields to your search or you can remove search fields from the Search page.

You can select:

  • One field to search. The default field is always Topic. You can always select a different field to search.

  • Three fields to search. The default fields are always Topic, Author, and Publication Name. You can always select different fields to search.

  • Add Another Field. The default field is always Topic. You can always select a different field to search.


Implicit AND Operator

The product uses an implicit AND operator when you enter two or more adjacent terms in most fields. For example, entering rainbow trout fish farm in the search field is equivalent to entering rainbow AND trout AND fish AND farm; both queries return the same number of results.


Basic Search: Search Steps

  1. Go to the Timespan and More Settings sections of the search page if you need to change your search settings.

  2. Enter your search terms in one or more of search fields.

  3. The following options are also available when you perform a search.

    • The Add Another Field link allows you to add more search fields to the Basic Search page.

    • The Reset Form link lets you clear any search queries that you have entered. This action resets the search page to the original search fields This action applies to the Author search and Cited Reference Search.

    • The Select from Index link allows you to select an item (such as a publication name or an author name) when you perform a Publication Name or Author search.

    • The Auto-suggest Publication Names option allows you to turn on or off suggestions for publication names. When this feature is ON, the product provides a list of publication names based on the characters that you enter in the search field. For example, if you enter CANC, the product displays a list of publications that begins with these four characters, such as Cancer Biology Therapy and Cancer Investigation.

    • The Default Number of Search Fields to Display option allows you to select only the Topic field or you can select the Topic, Author, and Publication Name fields.

    • The Save Settings option allows you to save your settings for future search sessions.

  1. Click Search to go to the Results page.


Search Fields


Did You Mean ...

All database products within the Web of Science platform includes a spell checker to check your search queries against common spellings and their variants in order to determine if an alternative spelling exists that would improve your search results.

To turn on this feature, select Modify Settings from the search page, and then select On from the "Auto-suggest publication names" option.

If the system determines that an alternative spelling exists, a Did You Mean text box appears offering you an alternative search query. The tool checks full terms -- not truncated terms or terms within quotation marks.

For example:

  • Did You Mean: Topic=(suggested search terms) [NNN results]

  • Did You Mean: (Topic=(suggested search terms) AND Author=(author name)) [NNN results]

If no results are found, and there are no Did You Mean suggestions, then the system displays a list of search tips with links to help and a training video.

If you select the Did You Mean suggestion, the system launches a new search and takes you to the Results page. The original search and the Did You Mean search both display in the Search History.

Important Note: Did You Mean only works for Topic and Title searches.


Save Settings

The product allows you to save your settings. These settings are found under the More Settings section on any Search page.

You can save these settings so that they are available each time you begin a search session. For example, you can set your timespan settings to search All Years or Year to Date. Each time you begin a new session, the product remembers this setting and only searches for records added to the product within the specified timespan.

You must be a registered user and you must sign in to save your search settings.

  1. Select the desired timespan and/or indexes that you want to include in future searches.

  2. If you have not signed in, then click the sign in or register link that appears at the bottom of the Search page.

  3. Click the Save Settings button. The next time you sign into a new session, the product remembers your settings so you can immediately begin your research.


Create a Citation Alert 

This feature requires a subscription to the Web of Science Core Collection. Contact your system administrator for more information if this feature is unavailable at your institution.

To create a citation alert for the current record, click the Create Citation Alert button in the right-hand column of the Full Record page.

A citation alert emails you whenever a document you specify is cited by a new article. To access your alerts, from the Web of Science homepage, click Searches and Alerts > Citation Alerts. From here, you can view how many times someone cited the document, turn alerts off and on, and if you want, remove an alert.


Searching for Books and Book Chapters in the Web of Science Core Collection

The Book Citation Index allows you to search for scholarly books and book chapters using all of the fields currently available in the Web of Science Core Collection.

  1. Go to the More Settings section of the search page and select the following citation indexes. Be sure to clear the check boxes of the other indexes.

    • Book Citation Index–Science
    • Book Citation Index–Social Sciences & Humanities
  2. Change other features in the More Settings section such as sort options and number of records to display. (Optional)

  3. Select the Document Type field from the menu that appears at the end of a field.

  4. Select the Book and Book Chapter document types from the menu.

  5. Enter your search terms in the Topic, Title, Author, or other fields, and then click Search to go to the Results page.

Note: Full text links are available for the entire book or for a specific book chapter from the Full Record page.

Note: To learn about Book Citation Index, go to Book Citation Index in Web of Science.


Interface Language

The interface language that you select determines the language of the on-screen instructions and help information. Consequently, search queries must always be in English. The results of your search are always in English.

See Selecting an Interface Language.


Search Operator Precedence

If you use different operators in your search, the search is processed according to this order of precedence:

  1. NEAR/x
  2. SAME
  3. NOT
  4. AND
  5. OR

More Information?


Did You Know ...

The default search settings are:

Settings stay in effect until you clear them by clicking the Clear button.