Web of Science: Cited Reference Search Tips

Web of Science should really be named Web of Science, Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities, and is the most elegant tool to search citations.

To Search Web of Science

Click Cited Reference Search.

Default is all years. You can click Change Settings button mid-screen right to select a briefer range of years if appropriate.

Default is all disciplines: Science, Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities. If you retrieve matches for too many individuals with same last name and initials combination, you can limit matches by clicking Change Settings button mid-screen right to select only one or two broad disciplines.

Insert author's name as publications are signed, e.g. lee js Use initials, not full first name, even if publications are signed with full name. WOS Citation Index is an initials-only database.


Cited author's last name can have up to 15 characters and up to three initials. For more than 15, use a truncation symbol * A truncation symbol can also be used in the initials string (for example: adams m*). Compound names are run together (for example: krollsmith instead of kroll-smith). It is important to search with truncation if some papers are published with first name/initial and other publications use firstinitialANDsecondinitial...using the truncation symbol will retrieve both possibilities. Although it has the disadvantage of retrieving all letter combinations. Perhaps in that case, you can search lastname firstinitial OR lastname firstinitialsecondinitial.

Important: Remember to search the senior author of each paper/book chapter/etc. to retrieve all matches. Matches on second or other co-authors occur *only* for articles from Source journals in ISI's database.

See my strategy for creating a document in the Web of Science-style to present cited references from a variety of resources.

Prolific and heavily cited authors can exploit the new ability to proceed through the list of matches in numeric bundles. If you have questions about the process, contact me and we'll work out a strategy to suit your situation.