Introduced by Elsevier in 2004, Scopus aims to be the most comprehensive Scientific, Medical, Technical and Social Science abstract and citation database containing all relevant literature, irrespective of medium or commercial model. It covers nearly 18,000 titles from more than 5,000 publishers, but its coverage before 1996 is very limited.
Scopus claims worldwide coverage; more than half of Scopus content is said to originate from Europe, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region. It is updated daily and charges commercial rates for access.
Scopus has a substantially broader journal coverage than ISI. The contrast is particularly large in the Social Sciences and Humanities. For example Scopus has 1114 journals in Business & Management and 682 journals in Economics, Econometrics & Finance. This is in stark contrast with the less than 250 journals for both Business & Management (incl. Finance) and Economics in ISI. Although for Economics, ISI still has about a third of Scopus coverage, for Business & Management, this is only about 20%.
Similar to ISI's Web of Science, Scopus has two different search functions. The General Search function is the standard function selected when logging into the Scopus. It has more extensive analytical functions than the Cited Reference Search, but has a more limited coverage of citations. The difference in coverage between the two functions is as follows:
- Scopus General search = citations IN Scopus-listed journals TO publications in Scopus-listed journals.
- Scopus More search = citations IN Scopus-listed journals TO all publications, incl. non-Scopus listed journals, books, conference proceedings, white papers, and government reports. Please note that even in the “cited by” search function ISI ignores citations for second and further authors for non-ISI publications.
Unlike the ISI Cited By search, the Scopus More search is not additive, i.e. in order to establish an academics total Scopus citations, one needs to add up the results from the Scopus General search and the Scopus More search. Fortunately, unlike the ISI Cited By search function, Scopus does find citations for second and further authors for non-Scopus publications in the Scopus More search.