Information about Scopus queries

The Scopus search pane in Publish or Perish allows you to perform a Scopus search and analyse its results; it contains a structured version of the parameters accepted by Scopus. Publish or Perish uses these parameters to perform a Scopus search, which is then analyzed and converted to a number of statistics. The results are available on-screen and can also be copied to the Windows clipboard (for pasting in other applications) or saved to a text file (for future reference or further analysis).

Scopus API key

You will need to request a Scopus API key before you can run Scopus searches. For detailed instructions, see Scopus API key.

How to perform a Scopus search

To perform a Scopus search:

  1. Enter the relevant parameters in the various fields (see below for an explanation of each parameter);
  2. Click Search or press the Enter key.

The program will now contact Scopus to obtain the citations, process the list, and calculate the citation metrics, which are then displayed in the results list. The full list of results is also available for inspection or modifications and can be exported in a variety of formats.


This pane contains the following fields.

Option Description

Enter the names of the authors you want to look up. You can also use a Scopus author ID to find specific authors; see Scopus author IDs for information about these IDs.

Note: Although you can search for all authors, the free Scopus search only returns the first author in the results. However, here is a video by Russ Lewis that shows you how you can find a complete author set through using Research Rabbit.

For general tips on search syntax, see Author search.


Enter the range of years in which the papers must have been published. You can set either year to 0 (zero) to indicate "don't care".

Affiliations Enter the affilations that you want to search for. For tips on search syntax, see Affiliation search.
Publication name Enter the name of the publication or journal you want to look up. For tips on search syntax, see Journal search.
ISSN Enter the ISSNs of the journals you want to look up. The ISSNs must use the format dddd-dddd, i.e., 4 digits, a hyphen, and another 4 digits.
Title words Enter any words that must specifically occur in the title of a publication.

Enter any additional words that must appear alone or in combination in the returned papers. This can be used to narrow down the search for a specific set of papers.

For general tips on search syntax, see General/keyword search.


Perform the search. If possible, the search is satisfied from the local Publish or Perish cache; this saves time and reduces the load on Scopus. If no cache entry for the search exists or the entry is older than the maximum cache age, then the search parameters are forwarded to Scopus. After the results are received from Scopus, the local cache is automatically refreshed.

You can change the maximum cache age in the Preferences: Scopus dialog box, which is accessible through the Tools > Preferences command.

Search Direct

Submit the search directly to Scopus, bypassing the local Publish or Perish cache. This may be useful if you suspect that Scopus may have newer information than is available through the local cache. When the results are returned from Scopus, the local cache is automatically refreshed.

It is not useful to perform multiple direct lookups for the same query shortly after another; this merely increases the load on Scopus. We recommend that you only use the Search Direct function as a last resort.

Clear All Clears all search fields. You can use this to quickly prepare the fields for an entirely new search.
Revert Restores the search fields to their previous state. This function is only available as long as you have not performed a lookup with the current search fields.

Menu button that displays a popup menu from which you can create a new search.

The fields of the new search will be pre-populated from the fields in the current search; this makes it easy to use the same or very similar search parameters across a number of searches or data sources.