Web of Science and Scopus language coverage

  • Miguel-Angel Vera-BacetaEmail author
  • Michael Thelwall
  • Kayvan Kousha


The evaluation of research outputs in the form of journal articles is important to help with monitoring performance and to allocate funds. Elsevier’s Scopus and Clarivate’s Web of Science (WoS) are the two main sources for identifying outputs. For non-English-speaking countries, it is especially important that most of the scientific activity evaluated is represented in the bibliometric database used. All documents published in Scopus and WoS during 2018 (6,094,079 documents) were therefore analysed and compared for their languages and research areas. The most comprehensive source for each language and research area were identified and some coverage problems have been found.


Research evaluation Bibliometrics Bibliographic database Scopus Web of Science 


  1. Abrizah, A., Zainab, A. N., Kiran, K., & Raj, R. G. (2012). LIS journals scientific impact and subject categorization: A comparison between Web of Science and Scopus. Scientometrics, 94(2), 721–740.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aksnes, D. W., & Sivertsen, G. (2019). A criteria-based assessment of the coverage of Scopus and Web of Science. Journal of Data and Information Science, 4(1), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Archambault, É., Campbell, D., Gingras, Y., & Larivière, V. (2009). Comparing bibliometric statistics obtained from the Web of Science and Scopus. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(7), 1320–1326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Archambault, É., Vignola-Gagné, É., Côté, G., Larivière, V., & Gingras, Y. (2006). Benchmarking scientific output in the social sciences and humanities: The limits of existing databases. Scientometrics, 68(3), 329–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barnett, P., & Lascar, C. (2012). Comparing unique title coverage of Web of Science and Scopus in Earth and atmospheric sciences. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship.Google Scholar
  6. Clarivate Analytics. (2019). Web of Science platform: Web of Science: Summary of Coverage. Retrieved June 10, 2019 from
  7. Clermont, M., & Dyckhoff, H. (2012). Coverage of business administration literature in Google Scholar: Analysis and comparison with Econbiz, Scopus and Web of Science. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network.Google Scholar
  8. Collazo-Reyes, F. (2014). Growth of the number of indexed journals of Latin America and the Caribbean: The effect on the impact of each country. Scientometrics, 98(1), 197–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Delgado, J. L. G., Alonso, J. A., & Jiménez, J. C. (Coords.). (2013). El español, lengua de comunicación científica (Vol. 12). Fundación Telefónica.Google Scholar
  10. Franceschet, M. (2009). A comparison of bibliometric indicators for computer science scholars and journals on Web of Science and Google Scholar. Scientometrics, 83(1), 243–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología. (2017). Indicadores del sistema español de ciencia, tecnología e innovación. Retrieved June 12, 2019 from
  12. Gavel, Y., & Iselid, L. (2008). Web of Science and Scopus: A journal title overlap study. Online Information Review, 32(1), 8–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hicks, D., Wouters, P., Waltman, L., De Rijcke, S., & Rafols, I. (2015). Bibliometrics: The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics. Nature News, 520(7548), 429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Martín-Martín, A., Orduna-Malea, E., Thelwall, M., & López-Cózar, E. D. (2018). Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus: A systematic comparison of citations in 252 subject categories. Journal of Informetrics, 12(4), 1160–1177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Moed, H. F., Markusova, V., & Akoev, M. (2018). Trends in Russian research output indexed in Scopus and Web of Science. Scientometrics, 116(2), 1153–1180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mongeon, P., & Paul-Hus, A. (2016). The journal coverage of Web of Science and Scopus: A comparative analysis. Scientometrics, 106(1), 213–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. National Science Foundation. (2018). Science and engineering indicators, chapter 5: Academic research and development. Retrieved June 10, 2019 from
  18. Osca-Lluch, J., Miguel, S., Gonzalez, C., Penaranda-Ortega, M., & Quinones-Vidal, E. (2013). Coverage and overlap of the Web of Science and Scopus in the analysis of the Spanish scientific activity in Psychology. Anales De Psicología, 29(3), 1025–1031.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Santa, S., & Herrero-Solana, V. (2010). Cobertura de la ciencia de América Latina y el Caribe en Scopus vs Web of Science. Investigación bibliotecológica, 24(52), 13–27.Google Scholar
  20. Van Leeuwen, T. N., Moed, H. F., Tijssen, R. J. W., Visser, M. S., & van Raan, A. F. J. (2001). Language biases in the coverage of the Science Citation Index and its consequences for international comparisons of national research performance. Scientometrics, 51(1), 335–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Vivancos Cervero, V. (2009). El español, lengua para la ciencia y la tecnología. Madrid: Instituto Cervantes.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Information Technologies Research Group, Facultad de Comunicación y DocumentaciónUniversidad de MurciaMurciaSpain
  2. 2.Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group, School of Mathematics and Computer ScienceUniversity of WolverhamptonWolverhamptonUK

Personalised recommendations