Chapter 14: Evaluating Thomson ISI web of Science

Thomsons ISI Web of Science, often called ISI for short, has been the traditional data source for citation analysis. It was established by Eugene Garfield in the 1960s and has had a virtual monopoly in this field until the arrival of Google Scholar and Scopus in 2004. For many universities it is still seen as the gold standard of citation analysis.

Below I discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the ISI Web of Science in more detail. This chapter provides a fairly critical analysis of Thomson ISI's Web of Science. I do not in any way mean to imply that this data source doesn't have a useful place in bibliometric analysis. However, given the high fees that are charged for its use and its dominant position, I feel it is only fair to have high expectations of its accuracy and comprehensiveness.