16.2.4 Scopus more versus Scopus general search

Scopus has two search options that are very similar to their ISI equivalent, with the Scopus General Search function only including citations to Scopus-listed journals and the Scopus More function including citations to a wider range of publications. The difference between the two types of Scopus search functions still varies substantially between the various disciplines, but the differences are not as large as for the two types of ISI search functions.

Figure 7: Citations for Scopus General Search and Scopus More Search: Science disciplines

Figure 7

As Figure 7 shows, for two of our five academics working in the Sciences (Cell Biology and Pharmacology), there are very modest differences (1-4%) between their citation records in the two different types of Scopus searches. As for ISI, these were almost entirely caused by “stray citations”, i.e. citations to Scopus listed journals that included either minor misspelling or referred to articles in press and hence were not correctly merged into the master record by Scopus data entry staff.

For the Physicist and the Mathematician, the increase is a bit more substantial with 15%-30% additional citations when adding the citations under Scopus More. For the Physicist and the Mathematician these differences are caused by not only by stray citations, but also by Scopus not correctly matching some relatively highly-cited Scopus-listed works to master records.

The Computer Scientist sees his citations double when adding the citations under Scopus More. In addition to stray and incorrectly matched records, this difference is caused largely by citations to a book (not included in the General search). Overall two thirds of the additional citations are citations to a single book.

As Figure 8 shows, differences are generally larger for our academics in the Social Sciences and Humanities, but again vary between the sub-disciplines. The Business academic only gathers 50% more citations, whilst the Education academic, the Linguist and the Political Scientist gather 3 to 4 times as many citations when adding the results of the Scopus More search. The Cinema Studies academic performs very poorly overall in Scopus, which seems to have a serious problem with coverage in this area.

Figure 8: Citations for Scopus General Search and Scopus More Search: Social Science & Humanities

Figure 8

Consequently, the differences in citation records between the Sciences on the one hand and the Social Sciences and Humanities on the other hand are much larger in the Scopus General search function than in the Scopus More search function. In the former case, academics in the Sciences on average have 7.5 times as many citations as the academics in the Social Sciences and Humanities. In the latter case this is reduced to 3.5 times as many citations.