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Scopus: About Scopus

About Scopus

Scopus is a large abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed journal articles, books, conference proceedings and patents. It includes 22,800+ titles:
  • 21,950 peer-reviewed journals (including over 3,600 full open access journals)
  • 280 trade publications
  • Over 560 book series
  • Over 8 million conference papers from over 100,000 worldwide events
  • "Articles-in-Press” from over 8,000 journals
  • More than 150,000 books with 20,000 added every year
  • Over 69 million records
  • 62.4+ million records post 1969 with references
  • 6.6+ million records pre-1970, with the oldest record dating back to 1788
  • More than 39 million patent records from five patent offices

Scopus references a wide range of disciplines including social sciences and arts & humanities.  Details about the standards for source selection and lists of sources that are abstracted by Scopus can be found in the Scopus Content and Coverage Guide.


Parts of this guide were taken from:

Iowa State University, University Libraries "Scopus:  About Scopus"
Elsevier page about Scopus content
Lister Hill Library Scopus guide:
University of Washington Health Sciences Library Scopus guide-

Journal Selection Criteria


To be abstracted in Scopus, a journal must:

  • have English abstracts

  • have at least 1 issue per year

  • have strong ethics – non-predatory

  • be peer-reviewed!!

Scopus also covers scholarly monographs (and excludes undergrad textbooks).


Hamerkop standing in a stream in Zambia, Thumbnail for version as of 15:27, 25 November 2012

The name, Scopus, was inspired by the bird, Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta), which supposedly has excellent navigation skills. [Burnham JF. Scopus database: a review. Biomed Digit Libr. 2006 Mar 8;3:1. doi:10.1186/1742-5581-3-1]

Why use Scopus?

This guide is to help researchers learn about searching Scopus, managing results, setting email alerts and citation alerts, etc.

  • Use Scopus to search on your topic when you want search results that are interdisciplinary and include international literature, as detailed below.
  • Use Scopus when you would like to see results ranked by times cited and relevance and as well as by date.
  • Look up an important paper on Scopus and see the reference list as well as the forward cites to the paper.
  • Use Scopus to set citation alerts. Who is citing your work?

Using SciVal

SciVal is a separate but related database that allows researchers and institutions to generate statistics to benchmark against.  A separate login is required.  Set up an account here.