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Indiana University School of Medicine

Web of Science contains citations to books and references from over 33,000 journals in multiple databases: Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Emerging Sources Citation Index, Book Citation Index and Conference Proceedings Citation Index.

Accessing the Databases

  1. Start on the Ruth Lilly Medical Library (RLML) home page
  2. Click the tab at the top of the page for Popular Resources → Databases
  3. Scroll down the page to the ‘W’ section, or click on the letter ‘W’ on the alphabet bar. Click on the Web of Science link. If you are off-campus (this includes IUHealth and Eskanazi hospitals), you will need to enter your university ID and password before you can access this resource and any associated full text

Searching via Basic Keywords (Quicker, less focused search than other databases that use controlled vocabulary subject headings such as MeSH in PubMed)

  1. Break your search into concepts. For instance, a search on the effects of aspirin on hypertension
    has two concepts. “Aspirin” is one and “hypertension” is the other.
  2. Enter your search topic(s) into the search box, changing the drop-down menu to the type that
    matches your search (Topic, Title, Author, Publication Name or DOI (digitial object identifier). An
    asterisk * may be used to truncate terms. For example: diagnos* will find diagnosis, diagnose,
    diagnostics, etc.
  3. Click the + Add Another Field link to search for your other topic, if necessary. NOTE: This will
    automatically combine search terms using your choice of Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), so
    you can skip the Combing Search Results section of the handout).
  4. When finished entering search terms, click the Search button.
  5. Click the Search History link on the upper right of the page to see how Web of Science
    interpreted your search.
  6. Combine searches and then limit your search as necessary (see “Combining Search Results” and
    “Limiting Search Results” sections of this handout)

Combining Search Results (Search History)
NOTE: This is only necessary if you did not use the Advanced Search or “+ Add Another Field” in the

Searching via Basic Keyword instructions on page 1 of the handout)

  1. Click to Search History link on the upper right of the page
  2. Click the sets to combine under Combine Sets on the right side of the page
  3. Select the appropriate Boolean operator (AND, OR)
  4. Click the Combine button
  5. Click the number of the set to view under Results
  1. Change the option from “Basic Search” to Cited Reference Search using the little blue arrow.

2. Start with the author’s name. You want to enter it as [lastname firstinitial*]. The asterisk tells the database to search for the author if they are cited by just their initial or by their whole name or by two initials.

3. Now, you can scroll down the list till you find your journal (Or use Ctrl+F to search for the title). Copy the abbreviation.


4. Once you open the list, you will want to find your journal. Click on the letter of the first “Nonstop word” of the journal title. (Stop words include: A, the, or, and, etc.)

5. Now, you can scroll down the list till you find your journal (Or use Ctrl+F to search for the title). Copy the abbreviation.

6. Close the journal title window.

7. Paste the abbreviated journal title into the “Cited Work” search box. You will want to follow the name of the journal with an “*” as you did with the author name.

8. For the date, leave the box blank. This is very important as many articles are cited with incorrect dates.

9. Click the “Search” button at the bottom of the screen.

10. You will now see a list of possible articles by your author. Select all that could possibly be the article you want. For example, if you were looking to see how many times this article, M.A. Marra, S.J.M. Jones, C.R. Astell, et al. “The genome sequence of the SARS-associated coronavirus .” SCIENCE, 300 (5624): 1399-1404, May 30, 2003, was cited, you would receive the following list to select from. (See image on next page). (317) 274-7182 SKL 7/28/17


11. Check the box to the left of all the citations that could be the same as the one you are for which you are looking. Then, click the link near the bottom left of the page that says “Finish Search.”

12. At the left of the page, you will see options for refining your results. For instance, you may want to only see the times an article was cited in another article (see image to the right).

13. You’ll find the number of times the article was cited listed near the top left of the page.


Limiting Search Results

  1. On the page displaying the search results, various limits are available under Refine Results on
    the left side of the page
  2. Choose the appropriate limits in each section, clicking the Refine tab after each section is used
  3. Use the down arrow to open additional limits in each section
  4. Click more options/values… if you don’t see the limit(s) you want

Managing Search Results
1. Select references to print, email or save by clicking in the box to the left of each reference.
2. You can also add only the selected references to a marked list (click the Add to Marked List tab
3. at the bottom of each page) before printing, emailing or saving them

Finding Full Text
1. Click the Find It button below each reference to see if full text is available
2. If there is full text available, click on the Articles or Journal link


As always, if you need assistance, do not hesitate to email us at or call (317) 274-7182