May 20, 2022

New Research Article: “The Journal Coverage of Web of Science and Scopus: a Comparative Analysis”

The following article has been accepted for publication in Scientometrics.


The Journal Coverage of Web of Science and Scopus: a Comparative Analysis


Philippe Mongeon
Université de Montréal

Adele Paul-Hus
Université de Montréal


via arXiv


Bibliometric methods are used in multiple fields for a variety of purposes, namely for research evaluation. Most bibliometric analyses have in common their data sources: Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science (WoS) and Elsevier’s Scopus.

This research compares the journal coverage of both databases in terms of fields, countries and languages, using Ulrich’s extensive periodical directory as a base for comparison. Results indicate that the use of either WoS or Scopus for research evaluation may introduces biases that favor Natural Sciences and Engineering as well as Biomedical Research to the detriment of Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities. Similarly, English-language journals are overrepresented to the detriment of other languages.

While both databases share these biases, their coverage differs substantially. As a consequence, the results of bibliometric analyses may vary depending on the database used.

Direct to Full Text Article (17 pages; PDF)

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Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.