Getting Started

The Web of Science (WoS) is one database from Thomson Reuters, part of it s Web of Knowledge. Access it through a Harvard Library website.

Below is a PowerPoint on how to get started using the Web of Knowledge, followed by a list of the databases it contains.

Web of Science Databases

When you open the Web of Science (Harvard login), notice that is suggests that you choose which of several databases you want to search. The default is the Core Collection but All Databases is recommended to start with. This gives you the widest search. 

There are several databases in the group besides the Web of Science. Each covers specific subject areas, and that the coverage varies. For instance, the Web of Science goes back to 1899 but Zoological Record covers relevant literature from as far back as 1864. Remember that if you search All Databases, the information on each entry will not be as complete as it will be in specific databases. Your topic will help guide you in making your choice, but it is usually a good idea to start by searching everything.

The databases are listed below, with their Web of Science descriptions.

  • BIOSIS Citation Index (1926-present). Life sciences and biomedical research covering pre-clinical and experimental research, methods and instrumentation, animal studies, and more. 
  • BIOSIS Previews (1969-present). Life sciences and biomedical research covering pre-clinical and experimental research, methods and instrumentation, animal studies, and more. 
  • CABI : CAB Abstracts® (1910-present). Provides authoritative research information on agriculture, environment and related applied life sciences. 
  • Current Contents Connect (1998-present). Complete tables of contents and bibliographic information from the world’s leading scholarly journals and books; also includes relevant, evaluated Web sites and documents. 
  • Data Citation Index (1900-present). Discover research data, including data studies, data sets from a wide range of international data repositories and connect them with the scientific literature to track data citation. 
  • Derwent Innovations Index (1963-present). Value-added patent information from Derwent World Patent Index® as well as patent citation information from Patents Citation Index®. 
  • KCI-Korean Journal Database (1980-present). Provides access to articles from multidisciplinary journals covered in KCI. KCI is managed by the National Research Foundation of Korea and contains bibliographic information for scholarly literature published in Korea. 
  • MEDLINE® (1950-present). The U.S. National Library of Medicine® (NLM®) premier life sciences database. This is the database behind PubMed.
  • Russian Science Citation Index (2005-present). Access bibliographic information and citations to scholarly articles from Russian researchers in over 500 science, technology, medical, and education journals. Leading publications have been carefully selected and provided by the Scientific Electronic Library (eLIBRARY.RU), Russia's largest research information provider. 
  • SciELO Citation Index (1997-present). Access to scholarly literature in sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities published in leading open access journals from Latin American, Portugal, Spain and South Africa. 
  • Zoological Record (1864-present). The world’s leading taxonomic reference and oldest continuing database of animal biology.