Save Search History

A search history is a search query or multiple search queries that you save to our server or to the hard drive of your computer, with the exception of Author Search BETA. 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.


Save on Our Server

  1. From the Search History page, click the Save History / Create Alert button that displays in the Search History table to go to the Save Search History overlay dialog.

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

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

  4. Check the Email Alerts checkbox to optionally save your search history as an alert. Your institution must have a subscription to alerting to select this feature.

    See also Save a Search History as an Alert

  5. Click the Save button.

  6. Click the Close button when you receive a message that your history / alert has been saved.


Save on Your Workstation

  1. Click the Save button under the Save to a Local Drive 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 my_search_history.wos).

  5. Click the Save button.


Save a Search History as an Alert

If your organization subscribes to our alerting service, you can save a search history as an alert. 

Alerts automatically search the last update to the database and emails relevant results to you. For example, if your search history is on Nanotechnology, our system emails new works on this topic.


Creating a Search History Alert

  1. Perform a search.
  2. From the list of results, click Create an Alert.
  3. Type a name for the alert. 
    1. Send me email alerts is selected automatically. If you want to save the search without receiving alerts, uncheck Send me email alerts. If you decide you want to receive alerts after you save the search, you can turn them on from the Searches and Alerts page.
    2. If you select Send me email alerts, you only receive alerts when our system adds new results to your search. You can select Send me emails when there are no results, if you rather receive alerts more frequently.
  4. Click Save.


Update a Search History Alert

You can update a saved search at any time. 

From the Core Collection, click Searches and Alerts > Saved Searches and Alerts. You can change the name of the alert, its description, the frequency, and turn the alert off and on by toggling between Inactive and Active. You don't need to click a save button, because our system automatically saves all of your changes.


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 Frequency Options

Frequency options depend on the product database you're searching. For example, if you're saving a search history from Web of Science Core Collection, you see Daily, Weekly, and Monthly options. However, if you're searching in the Derwent Innovations Index, you only have the option to select Weekly and Monthly updates.


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

Only available for Web of Science Core Collection and 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.

Important Notes

If you change the Frequency of an alert after you activate it:

  • you may receive duplicate alerts if you elect to receive alerts less frequently (e.g., 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)
  • Arabic Citation Index (.arci)
  • Biological Abstracts (.bioabs)
  • BIOSIS Citation Index (.bci)
  • BIOSIS Previews (.biosis)
  • CABI  (.cabi)
  • Chinese Science Citatin Index (.cscd)
  • Current Contents Connect (.ccc)
  • Data Citation Index (.drci)
  • Derwent Innovations Index (.diisw)
  • Food and Science Technology Abstracts (.fsta)
  • Inspec (.inspec)
  • Korean Journal Database (.kjd)
  • MEDLINE (.medline)
  • Russian Science Citation Index (.rsci)
  • SciELO Citation Index (.sci)
  • Web of Science Core Collection (.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 ( " )