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The Web of Science


Url: https://apps.webofknowledge.com


Which options do you have with your search results?
1. Refine search
2. Save search queries & create alerts
3. Analyze results
4. Create citation reports
5. Create lists
Which options do you have with a single record?
1. Citation overview
2. Full text
Additional resources
- EndNote
- ResearcherID
- Other resources
Why WOS?
Why register
How to search




FAO employees at headquarters may access the Web of Science (WOS) package - through IP recognition - from any FAO computer at: https://apps.webofknowledge.com .

FAO employees in the field. Please contact fao-library-reference@fao.org for support.

To be able to use all the functions of the WOS, we recommend you in general to create a WOS account. See the paragraph 'Why register?' down below.




Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science is the world’s largest abstract and citation platform of leading peer-reviewed international and regional scientific literature (published serially) in the natural sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities.   

The platform provides first of all access to bibliographic databases. When performing a search you obtain essentially bibliographic records, abstracts and citation overviews (not per definition the full text).
The WOS research platform provides access to 15 databases. It depends of your type of subscription to which databases you have access. 

FAO's subscription provides access to the following databases:

  • Web of Science Core Collection: World - Sciences, social sciences, arts & humanities - 12.000 journals - 51  million records - 1995-present
  • MEDLINE: The U.S. National Library of Medicine - medicine - 1950-present 
  • Russian Science Citation index: Russia - science, technology, medicine & education - 2005-present
  • ScIELo Citation Index:Latin American, Portugal, Spain & South Africa - sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities - Open Access - 1997-present
  • KCI-Koreanjournal database:National Research Foundation of Korea - 1980-present.   

The WOS Core Collection is the main database (in itself also a collection of databases) containing the most prestigious - in terms of research impact - journals and other type of documents published serially.
Note the new "Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)" within the Core Collection. This index/database was set-up recently to not miss out on local content with a significant regional importance & early stages of emerging fields and trends.

Note that a journal is only indexed in the WoS if it complies to a set of selection criteria of which citation impact is one of the most important ones.
For an overview of indexed journals, please consult the Master Journal list for all WOS databases tool.
For background information on the selection criteria, please go to the Journal Selection Process page. 


To be included in the WOS Core Collection, a serial needs to comply to these evaluation criteria.
An exception is made for the journals in ESCI, they have to comply to the criteria in red.


Which options do you have with your search results?


1. Refine search

You may narrow your search results down by clicking the fields in the left column.
Note that the values provided in the refine column are associated with your search result, providing already a first analytical insight.


2. Save search queries & create alerts

To continue working with your search query you can save it. This way you can get back to it, re-launch it, adapt it or combine it with another saved search query.
You can also decide to set-up an alert, meaning that you receive an e-mail notification each time new material corresponding to your query is added to the WOS.

Go to the "Search History" tab, select the query you are interested in and click on "save History/Create Alert" button. Name your query and (de)select de Email alert field.




3. Analyze results

To analyze you results in a basic way, click on the Analyze results link in the right column. It will give you some options to rank your results by different fields.


4. Create a citation report 

Its scope is to obtain an overview of the citation activity of a search result.

This feature provides you with, among others:
- Numeric and graphic data on when articles were published and when cited.
- The h-index: 
In the case of a topical search an index of h means that there are h papers that have each been cited at least h times. For example, an h-index of 20 means that there are 20 items that have 20 citations or more. This metric is useful because it discounts the disproportionate weight of highly cited papers or papers that have not yet been cited.


In the case of an author search the h-index is a bibliometric measure to measure a researcher's relative impact on his/her discipline. Only useful when compared to others in the same discipline area.

For more advanced analytic options you will need to have access to the InCites tool which is currently not included in FAO's subscription.


5. Create lists

The Marked Lists section is a place where you can temporarily store records while searching the WOS.
You may save 50 bibliographic lists (5000 records each) per WOS personal profile.

Its used for two main reasons:
1. like a book bag, so you can decide what to "buy"/read at the end.
2. To create a selected set (and create a citation/analyze report - this when you cannot get to the needed search result by simply narrowing it down) to be exported to either Endnote, email (e.g. fao-library-reference@fao.org to ask for the full text) or InCites. 


Which options do you have with a single record?


Citation overview

The Citation Network block in the right column of the screen provides access to the following type of citation overviews:

  • Times cited: View the articles that cite the selected record.
  • Cited references: View the bibliography of the selected record.
  • View related records: View articles that share references with the selected record. 
  • Create a citation alert: Receive an e-mail when someone cites the selected record. To access this function, open the single record and access the "Create Citation Alert" link in the right column. 




Full text

Please note that you can only obtain the full-text of an article if the FAO Library has a subscription to the journal in question or if it is an Open Access journal.

Remember that if you are interested in the full-text of an article, you can always write us at fao-library-reference@fao.org and we will send you the full text within 1-2 days. 

Note also the Google Scholar icon on top of a record.



Additional resources



FAO's subscription on the WOS also includes the citation management tool EndNote Online.



  • Search hundreds of online resources, incl. the WOS, for references and export/import them to EndNote.
  • Build and share bibliographies in over 5,000 styles, including FAO Style, FAO's bibliographic citation style.
  • Automatically update older references and links.
  • Create and reformat bibliographies in Microsoft Word. For this feature you need to download the Cite While You Write plugin. Once downloaded you can insert in-text citations and bibliographies directly from your EndNote collections into your Word papers in FAO Style.
  • Share your entire EndNote library, including references, PDFs and annotations with up to 100 people with the ability to access, edit and use simultaneously with collaborators in real-time.

 For more detailed support, see the EndNote page on our website.  



ResearcherID provides a solution to the author ambiguity problem within the scholarly research community. Each member is assigned a unique identifier to enable researchers to manage their publication lists, track their times cited counts and h-index, identify potential collaborators and avoid author misidentification. In addition, your ResearcherID information integrates with the Web of Science and is ORCID compliant, allowing you to claim and showcase your publications from a single one account.

Register/or log-in to create/manage your own researcher ID and profile.
Search researchers that have created an Researcher ID.
Search the WOS by research ID.

Note that the Researcher ID is WOS specific, but it can be associated (during the registration process or later on) with your ORCHID, Open Researcher and Contributor ID.

ORCHID is a non-profit organization that aims to solve the author/contributor name ambiguity problem in scholarly communication by creating a central registry of unique identifiers. ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized.

Other resources

  • Index to Organism Names: Contains the organism names related data gathered from the scientific literature for Thomson Reuters' Zoological Record and BIOSYS Previews databases.


Why WOS?

Objective and publisher neutral
Thomson Reuters defines itself as an information provider instead of a publisher.
The journal selection process - incl. commercial, society, open access journals  - is publisher neutral and applied consistently to all 3,300 publishers. 

All literature indexed by the WOS is peer reviewed, a process by which a scholarly work is checked by a group of experts in the same field to make sure it meets the necessary standards before it is published or accepted. In short the scientific quality of your search results is guaranteed by searching the WOS, this for example is not the case with a Google search results.

Citation indexing
WOS was the first Web-based citation indexing resource of scholarly and professional journals.
InCites is the first-ever research evaluation tool on the Web, allowing the most comprehensive citation-based analysis of institutional research.
Journal Citation Reports is the first tool for in-depth analyses and ranking of scholarly and professional journals.

WOS covers all the main scientific areas: natural sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities. For an overview of more detailed areas of interest, take a look at the WOS subject categories.
Thomson Reuters is committed to providing comprehensive coverage of the world's most important and influential journals. The WOS goes back to 1900, but note that FAO's subscription starts in 1995 - present.

Advanced search
All records indexed in WOS contain rich metadata and are indexed with WOS categories/topics. Consequently it has many advanced search options and filters.
You can create Alerts for search results and receive a mail each time a relevant new resource is added to WOS.

The Analyse Results tool and the Create Citation report may be applied to all your search results (< 10,000 records).

Organize your search results with the citation management tool Endnote. 


Why register

In order to get the most out of WOS and to be able to access the resource from anywhere, including mobile devices and non FAO computers, we recommend you to create your own user account.
1. Go to webofknowledge.com from a FAO computer or through SAG.
2. Click sign in along the top navigation.
3. Click Register to create a new account.


You should register and login to be able to:

  • Save search histories
  • Create lists
  • Create alerts
  • Access Endnote.


How to search

We recommend you to start with the WoS help page. Down below we have listed some tips on how to search the WOS as efficiently as possible.



Select database

To start your search, select the database you want to search.

To search all databases, choose "All databases" (default setting) in the top menu. Please note that this option decreases the richness of the metadata, as only the fields shared by all databases are displayed.
In general we recommend you to use the Web of Science Core collection




Search preferences 

At the bottom of the homepage of the WOS, you can set your search preferences:

Timespan: The years available are indicated after each database.
More settings: the individual resources included in the selected database. This is especially the case for the web of Science Core collection. It contains single collections by document type and field of interest.  




Search rules

  • Capitalization does not matter
  • The use of search operators AND, OR, NOT, NEAR, SAME vary by field. Remember that the product uses an implicit AND operator when you enter two or more adjacent terms in most fields.
  • The use of wildcards (* $ ?) are supported in most search queries, but vary by field.
  • To search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks.

More info.


Search by Topic

When entering keywords in the Topic field, you are searching the following fields within a record:Title, Abstract, Author Keywords, Keywords Plus

More info 


Tip: To narrow you search down as much as possible, use the search operator NEAR or a phrase search.


Database: WOS core
Timespan: 2015-2016


= Marine plastic pollution > 201 results
= Marine NEAR/5 plastic NEAR/5 pollution > 25 results
= "Marine plastic pollution" > 12 results


Search by Title

Title refers to the title of a journal article, proceedings paper, book or book chapter.
To search for the title of a journal, select the Publication Name field. 


Database: WOS Core
Timespan: 2015-2016


= Marine plastic pollution > 10 results
= "Marine plastic pollution" > 4 results


Search by Author

Enter author names to search the following fields within a record: Author(s), Book Author(s), Group Author(s), Book Group Author(s), Inventor(s)

Enter the last name first followed by a space and the author's initials. The system automatically adds the asterisk (*) wildcard when you enter only one initial. So, entering Johnson M is the same as entering Johnson M*.


Search by Author identifiers

Search the WOS by ResearcherID or ORCID iD in order to filter out similar author names.  
Note that you can search for the Researcher ID of an authors at https://www.researcherid.com/ (You need to have created an account). Another way to search if an author has a researcher ID, is to do an Author search and click on "Select from index".

Author identifiers maybe found in the WOS records immediately under the Author information by clicking on "View researcher ID and ORCHID ". 



Search by....


Group author: An organization or institution that is credited with authorship of a source publication such as an article, a book, a proceeding.

Publication name: To search the Source field within a record. It retrieves: Journal titles, Books, Book titles, Book series titles, Book subtitles, Book series subtitles

Address: To search the affiliation of authors. Search the Address fields by entering the full or partial name of an institution and/or location from an author's address.

Organization enhanced: To search organizations with identified name variants. All the organizations accessible from the Index have been unified.