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Research Trends: Special Issue on the 10 years of Scopus

Since its launch in the fall of 2004, Scopus has established itself as the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed research literature. In honor of the 10th anniversary of Elsevier’s bibliographical database, Research Trends recently published a Special Issue that looks back on these 10 years and illustrates how Scopus can be used in bibliometric studies of trends in the global science system.


For one of the issue’s contributions, Dr. Gali Halevi and Dr. Henk F. Moed conducted a comprehensive search on all Scopus data (limiting the results to full research articles only), coming up with a list of the most frequently cited articles published between 2001 and 2011 in eight main research areas. According to their findings, these were the top cited articles per research area:


Agricultural and Biological Sciences

MEGA4: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis (MEGA) software version 4.0 (2007)

Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vol. 24, No. 8, pp. 1596-1599.


Arts & Humanities

The complexity of intersectionality (2005)

Signs, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 1771-1800.



Geant4 developments and applications (2006)

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, Vol. 53, No. 1, pp. 270-278.


Chemical Engineering

On the development of proton conducting polymer membranes for hydrogen and methanol fuel cells (2001)

Journal of Membrane Science, Vol. 185, No. 1, pp.  29-39


Computer Science

Distinctive image features from scale-invariant keypoints (2004)

International Journal of Computer Vision, Vol. 60, No. 2, pp. 91-110.



The rise of graphene (2007)

Nature Materials, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 183-191.


Environmental  Science

Pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other organic wastewater contaminants in U.S. streams, 1999-2000: A national reconnaissance (2002)

Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 36, No. 6, pp. 1202-121.



Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: Principal results from the women’s health initiative randomized controlled trial (2002)

Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 288, No. 3, pp. 321-333.


Other topics discussed in this Special Issue of Research Trends include an analysis of research trends in the domain of virology, current developments in the field of graphene research, patterns in co-authorship during the past 10 years, as well as trends in German publication output and its citation impact.


Although these studies look backwards in time, they also bear relevance to the present and future, as their outcomes and the explored bibliometric methodologies potentially contribute to a better understanding of the research process, and to an informed research policy.


To download the complete Research Trends Issue, click here.

  Times Higher Education choose Scopus data for its World University Ranking


As you can tell from this post’s title, we have some great news on the Scopus front today!


Times Higher Education (THE), a global leader in university rankings, has today announced their decision to work with the Scopus database and SciVal, Elsevier’s research metrics analysis tool, for its World University Ranking and other rankings including the 100 Under 50, Asia University and BRICS & Emerging Economies rankings.



THE Managing Director Trevor Barratt has this to say about the newly minted partnership, “Research publication data for the rankings will in the future be drawn from Elsevier’s Scopus database. The new data source will allow us to analyze a deeper range of research activity from a wider range of institutions than at present, including those institutions from emerging economies that account for a growing portion of the world’s research output and which have shown a great hunger for THE’s trusted global performance metrics.”



This is a great endorsement of the work we have done over the last 10 years– improving the quality of the Scopus database, the breadth of global coverage and developing the market-leading research metrics and benchmarking tool, SciVal.


Under the agreement with THE, Elsevier will also run their annual global academic reputation survey though THE will have ownership of the results and data behind the ranking indicators enabling them to be more transparent and accountable for their Rankings. Please ask your researchers to look out for their invitation to participate.


Want to see how your institution fares in Scopus? Use the ‘Affiliation Search’ in Scopus to check out your institution’s research output. And let us know if you’d like to learn more about Scopus or SciVal.


Scopus’ position on rankings is similar to our position on the general use of research metrics: a single metric provides a simple, clear point of reference that can be used as a benchmark and it is the combination of multiple metrics (combined with qualitative data and references) that can prove useful in making informed decisions. We believe that university rankings alone do not solve the complex problem of where and what a prospective student should study (or where academics should work). Rankings can, however, play a useful role in choosing where to study by offering comparative data that would otherwise not be available. Read more about our position on rankings on ElsevierConnect.


Have questions for us about Scopus or this partnership? Please reach out to us via email.

  Scopus Chosen by US News & World Report for Arab Region Ranking


On Tuesday, November 4, at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in Doha, Qatar, U.S. News & World Report, a leading U.S.-based publisher of education analysis and rankings, unveiled the inaugural Best Arab Region Universities rankings.


We’re pleased to announce that U.S. News' Best Arab Region Universities rankings, which focus on institutions’ academic research, are based on research data from Scopus and metrics powered by SciVal!


The ranking methodology weighs factors that measure research productivity and performance, using a variety of bibliometric indicators such as publications and citations. Each ranked Arab region university has a profile page on displaying contact information and detailed ranking indicators. The overall rankings include 91 universities in 16 countries; there are also separate rankings in 16 subject areas, including key fields such as computer science, engineering, medicine, mathematics and social sciences.


Using the ‘Affiliation Search’ feature in Scopus, you can learn more about each institution’s research output. According to U.S. News & World Report, three universities in Saudi Arabia claim the top spots: with King Saud University taking the No. 1 spot, followed by King Abdulaziz University at No. 2 and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology at No. 3. Cairo University in Egypt is ranked at No. 4, followed by the American University of Beirut in Lebanon at No. 5.


Our position on rankings is similar to our position on the use of research metrics: a single metric provides a simple, clear point of reference that can be used as a benchmark, but it is the combination of multiple metrics (combined with qualitative data and references) that provide the most useful input into making informed decisions. We believe that university rankings alone do not solve the complex problem of where and what a prospective student should study (or where academics should work). Rankings can, however, play a useful role in choosing where to study by offering comparative data that would otherwise not be available.

  The Nobel laureates in Scopus


The winners of this year’s Nobel Prizes in Medicine, Physics, Chemistry and Economics have all published with Elsevier, making pioneering contributions to science and medicine. We are honored to work with these extraordinary scientists, who have also served as editors, editorial board members or reviewers for different Elsevier journals.


You can discover more about the Nobel laureates and their research by looking at their Author Profiles on Scopus and reading a selection of their output.


Medicine or Physiology

John O'Keefe - click to view his Scopus author profile

May-Britt Moser - click to view her Scopus author profile

Edvard Moser - click to view his Scopus author profile

Read a selection of their research papers



Isamu Akasaki - click to view his Scopus author profile

Hiroshi Amano - click to view his Scopus author profile

Shuji Nakamura - click to view his Scopus author profile

Read a selection of their research papers



Eric Betzig - click to view his Scopus author profile

Stefan Hell - click to view his Scopus author profile

William Moerner - click to view his Scopus author profile

Read a selection of their research


Economic Sciences

Jean Tirole - click to view his Scopus author profile

Read a selection of his research

  Scopus Content Selection Advisory Board meeting commences

The Scopus Content Selection & Advisory Board meeting starts today and as always, we are looking forward to the lively discussion on topics such as: publication ethics, title evaluation processes, content expansion and ongoing content development programs such as the Cited References Expansion -- and much more.


Recently it has come to our attention that more clarity is needed regarding the work that the Scopus Content Selection & Advisory Board does throughout the course of the year.


Board members are (independent!) experts in their respective fields and also experienced journal editors. Quality is their main criteria when selecting journals for Scopus coverage. In addition to their thorough work throughout the year, Subject Chairs meet twice per year to talk in-person about important issues in the scientific publishing community. These meetings ensure that Subject Chairs are fully up-to-date on the current state of scientific communication as well as Scopus' product and content strategy. The meetings also serve to reiterate that Subject Chairs need to continue to apply the best quality criteria when reviewing journals for inclusion in Scopus. 


The Board does not review titles at the twice annual board meetings -- though we talk about it a lot. Subject Chairs review titles on an ongoing basis throughout the year using a proprietary online system. Subject Chairs also stay in-touch with each other (and us) throughout the year via email, phone calls and in a private online community.


Do you still have questions on the Scopus title evaluation process? We’d love to answer your questions. Please tweet your questions to @Scopus or email us today.

  Scopus h-index being updated to include content from 1970 to the present

The Scopus Cited Reference Expansion, announced in March, is well on its way. Our October 23 release saw the expansion of the h-index publication window to 1970. The previous publication window was from 1996 onwards.


As a result, the Scopus Author Profile page may show an increase of the h-index count for some authors. These changes in the h-index count are also visible in the author profile in “Analyze author output” h-index and the Cited by (citations) tab. Moreover, it also expanded the publication window of the “Citation Overview” tool.

Why was this done: The h-index timeframe has been lengthened to 1970 in preparation for the Cited References Expansion project. The first batch of pre-1996 cited references will start appearing in November.


What is the impact to the h-index: Prior to this release the h-index was only calculated using post-1995 publications. Authors that have published work prior to 1996 may now see an increase in their h-index, even though no pre-1996 cited references have been indexed to date. This can be explained by post-1995 citations given to pre-1996 works. An author’s h-index is now calculated with publications as far back as 1970, and their citations from 1996 onwards. For example, an author’s 1993 publication that received citations in 1999 will now be included in the calculation and positively impact the author’s h-index.


No cited references pre-1996 have been added to yet. The first content will start to appear in November 2014. The Cited Reference Expansion project is scheduled to run until 2016 and will see 8M+ articles re-processed to include cited references.


If you have questions, please contact our helpdesk and they will assist you.

Release Date: 
October 24 2014

  Open Access on Scopus

This week is Open Access Week 2014, a global event that gives the academic and research community an opportunity to learn more about Open Access. We thought it was worth noting that out of the  21,000+ journals indexed by Scopus, 2,800 are gold open access journals (DOAJ-registered). You can view these titles in the publicly-available Scopus title list.


Moreover, Scopus features other “open” features like our open author profiles – just google “free author lookup” to access them:

You can read more about the new Scopus author profile page here.


Also, don’t miss the chance to have a look at this selection of interesting open access research papers published in Elsevier journals on topics such as health, environment, personality and culture.


Interested in knowing more about Open Access Week? You can follow the latest news via the hashtag #OAWeek.

  Reaxys links on Scopus currently disabled

We are aware that Reaxys links on the abstract (document details) pages in Scopus are currently disabled. We are working to identify the problem and expect to have these links fixed as soon as possible, likely within the next few weeks. All other links are working as expected. Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may cause you.


As soon as we have the Reaxys links restored, we will post a notice on this blog. Please also follow us on Twitter@scopus for regular news and updates.


Release Date: 
October 13 2014

  Scopus Content update: 50,000 books indexed

Since our last content update in June, we’ve been busy moving the Scopus Books Expansion project along. To date, you can see more than 50,000 books in Scopus!


In case you missed the announcement, in mid-2013 Scopus launched the Books Expansion Project. Books from more than 30 major publishers such as Springer, Wiley-Blackwell, Elsevier, Brill, Walter de Gruyter, Princeton University Press, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Taylor & Francis, Palgrave Macmillan and Project Muse have been selected and are being processed for inclusion in Scopus. Although books from all subject fields are considered for the project, the focus is on Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities -- at least 25% of the books currently in Scopus are in these subject fields.


We asked Dr. Richard Whatmore, Arts & Humanities chairperson for Scopus’ Content Selection & Advisory Board, to tell us a bit about his favorite book in Scopus:


“My favourite book in Scopus is John (J. G. A.) Pocock's The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition. It was first published by Princeton University Press in 1975 and was revised in 2002. It is straightforwardly the best history book written in the twentieth century.


The reason is this: Pocock recovered a tradition of political thinking about time and politics in which the political body was analogous to the human body, and doomed in consequence to decline and die. Delaying such a fate was the aspiration of generation after generation of political authors. Machiavelli's response to the problem of the crisis that would ultimately face every republic entailed a policy of rejecting commerce and luxury, of imbuing the citizenry with manliness in order to win wars, and above all plot to turn a small state into a large empire. Machiavelli's model was the Romans, and he thought it should be everyone’s.


Pocock's genius was to trace the echoes of such arguments, formulated in the turbulence of the dying republic of Florence, to seventeenth-century and eighteen-century Britain and on to the generation of the Founding Fathers in North America. The republican critique of commerce and empire inspired Thomas Jefferson among others. The existence of the tradition confirmed the ancient and illiberal origins of American liberty. Pocock inspired intellectual historians to follow his method of the deep contextualisation of ideas. He also caused an intellectual ferment by challenging the self-satisfied myths of the nature and origins of the American Republic.”


For an up-to-date list of the books currently indexed in Scopus, see the public books list on the Scopus info site.

  Scopus to test new system in order to improve speed

Starting September 15, Scopus will test a method of selective internet routing to speed up delivery of our pages to customers. Most customers will see an improvement in speed. However, some customers with unusual internet configurations may experience a problem. If you are suddenly unable to access Scopus as before, this may be due to incompatibility with the new routing method.


If you suddenly lose access to Scopus, please first check that the above is indeed the reason for the problem by trying the following URL: This should give you direct access to the original Scopus IP address as before the test.  If you now have access again, then you will need to follow the steps below to restore normal service.


While we help you fix the problem, your users can continue to use Scopus via a workaround using This may occasionally require them to change the URL – adding a 2 after www – for some links.


IP white listing is the problem

The problem is expected to arise if you are restricting access to specific IP addresses (IP whitelisting) through your firewall or proxy service. Because we use specific routing across the internet, the last server will not be the original Scopus IP address, so will not be on your list. If you are using domain name whitelisting there should be no problem.


If you are using a whitelist, you can solve the problem by adding the Scopus domain name instead of the IP addresses of the Scopus servers.


If you are unable to change this or if it does not help, please contact your local helpdesk and let us know that you are affected.


We will configure your account to restore service – this will also entail your adding a list of IP addresses to your whitelist.  Please be aware that this list changes periodically and will need to be maintained if you continue to use IP address whitelisting.


Release Date: 
September 15 2014