Exploring the Web of Science Core Collection

Exploring the Web of Science Core Collection

Indexing databases play a vital role in academia. They collect and organize information about scholarly publications helping researchers search for and discover pieces relevant to their work.

In this blog post, we will focus on Clarivate’s Web of Science Core Collection. The subsequent articles will explore other services maintained by Clarivate – Specialty Collections and Journal Citation Reports.

The Web of Science – a Leader in Providing Valuable Insights and Analytics

The Web of Science (WoS) is an online subscription platform that provides access to an extensive compilation of peer-reviewed academic literature. With its advanced search features, users can filter content by titles, keywords, authors, institutions, DOI numbers, access types, specific fields of study, and other criteria. WoS encompasses a wide range of materials, including research articles, preprint papers, book chapters, conference proceedings, and patents, spanning numerous disciplines.

One of the key features of the platform is its citation indexing. The product collects citations to the literature contained within its database, enabling users to identify influential works and analyze connections between publications. The citations are organized in specialized indexes that provide a comprehensive overview of catalogued titles, publishers, and disciplines.

Web of Science Core Collection – Prominent Citation Indexes for a Complete Literature Review

The Web of Science Core Collection offers access to six indexes, curated according to the rigorous content selection and content monitoring processes. Four of these are destined for academic journals, one compiles conference proceedings, and the last one gathers scholarly books:

  • Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE)
  • Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)
  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index (AHCI)
  • Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)
  • Conference Proceedings Citation Index (CPCI)
  • Book Citation Index (BKCI).

Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) – Exploring Scientific Connections

The Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) is a core index within the Web of Science Core Collection. It was established in 1997 to expand the coverage of the original Science Citation Index (SCI) from 1964. The SCIE included additional high-quality scientific journals and became a more extensive resource for citation analysis. In 2020, Clarivate integrated SCI into SCIE.

The Science Citation Index Expanded covers scientific disciplines such as medicine, microbiology, physics, and astronomy. For an extended period, it stood as one of two indexes, alongside SSCI, providing the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) for the journals contained within its database.

Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) – Connecting Ideas in the Social Discourse

The Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)  was created in 1972 as an extension of the Science Citation Index (SCI). While the SCI focused on natural and physical sciences, the SSCI aimed to incorporate research in the area of the social sciences and related disciplines, including geography, sociology, economics, psychology and political science.

It is the second index, next to SCIE, that offered JIFs to academic journals.

Arts & Humanities Citation Index (AHCI) – Embracing Artistic and Humanistic Scholarship

The Arts & Humanities Citation Index (AHCI) was added in 1975 as a resource for academic content published in the area of the arts and humanities. It covers disciplines such as religion, literature, language and linguistics, and art. Although it coexisted alongside SCIE and SSCI for years and shared the same editorial selection process, it did not provide JIFs.

The index was added to the Journal Citations Reports (JCR) in 2022. AHCI journals will receive JIFs for the first time in 2023, with the release of the 2022 edition of the JCR.

Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) – Uncovering Emerging Research Frontiers

The Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) is the youngest and most dynamic index within the WoS Core Collection, established in 2015. Unlike SCIE, SSCI and AHCI, the ESCI is a multidisciplinary database. Its aim is to showcase emerging research areas and publications, as well as regional titles, helping them to gain visibility within the scholarly community.

Together with AHCI, the ESCI index became a part of the Journal Citations Reports as of 2022. Titles included in this index will also receive their first JIFs with the next release of the Reports.

Book Citation Index (BKCI) – Exploring the Impact of Scholarly Books

While academic journals are widely recognized as an important source of scholarly literature, books also play a significant role in knowledge dissemination. The Book Citation Index (BKCI) is a dedicated index that focuses on capturing citations from scholarly books. It offers researchers a comprehensive view of the influence of books across various disciplines but does not provide any citation metrics for the books it gathers.

Conference Proceedings Citation Index (CPCI) – Understanding the Significance of Conference Papers

The Conference Proceedings Citation Index (CPCI) serves as a global catalogue of conference proceedings papers, expanding the scope of research beyond journal articles and books. Similarly to other indexes, it gathers citations and enables researchers to discover new findings and novel methodologies presented in conference settings.

CPCI indexes conference proceedings that are published exclusively in a book format and like BKCI, does not assign any metrics to the collected titles.

The Influence of Clarivate and its Core Collection

The Web of Science Core Collection is a respected database and a vital resource of scholarly materials from a wide range of subject areas. With several indexes, it helps researchers discover prominent works, identify influential trends, and understand the interconnectedness of academic disciplines through citation analysis. 

Sciendo provides professional indexing assistance, helping journal editors, book authors and conference organizers prepare their publications for the application processes for WoS products. To find out more, about how we can help to include your title, contact us by completing the form.

Further reading

  • For Clarivate Web of Science Core Collection training materials, visit the page.
  • To understand the difference between the Web of Science Core Collection and the Web of Science platform, click here.
  • Learn about citation context in the Web of Science here.

Main Image by Clarivate

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