Web of Science Frequently Asked Questions - Answers
Web of Science Contents
- Q1. What databases are available within the Web of
- A. Descriptions of the databases available can be found in the
Web of Science About section of the current website.
- Q2. Are there any additional products?
- A. Additional Web of Science products are available; however some require
additional subscription. Descriptions of these products can be found in the Web of Science About section.
- Q3. Is there a master list of journals covered?
- A. The Master journal list and individual lists for all the Thomson Reuter's searchable databases can be found at:
- Q4. Is there a journal selection process and how do I recommend a journal that is not included?
- A. Full information on the Journal selection criteria and evaluation process can be found at:
- Q5. Is there a conference proceedings selection process and how do I recommend conference proceedings that are not included?
- A. Full information on the conference proceedings selection criteria and evaluation process can be found at:
- Q6. How do I request data changes or corrections?
- A. Requests for data changes or corrections can be made via the Thomson Reuters data change and missing article/journal issue request form. This form can be used for requesting changes or corrections to records in Thomson Reuters products only (e.g. Web of Science, Derwent Innovations Index etc), the complete list of Thomson Reuters products is located on the form. This form can also be used to report missing articles or journal issues.
Subscription & Pricing
- Q1. How does my site sign up for the Web of Science?
- A. Details of the subscription options available and how to subscribe to the Web of Science Service for UK Education can be found on the About page.
For details of current subscribers to the Web of Science Service for UK Education please see the current list of licensed institutions
- Q2. Is my site eligible for Web of Science?
- A. The current agreement options are available to JISC sponsored Higher and Further Education Institutions and Research Councils in the UK.
- Q3. What is the length of the agreement?
- A. The agreements start on 1 October 2013 with options to subscribe for one or three years, further details at:
- Q4. What is the exact price of the WoS service and additional products?
- A. Please link to the relevant agreement for pricing details at:
- Q5. How do we know which price band our institution belongs to?
- A. Price bands have been determined by Jisc.
A full list of institutions by price
band is available.
- Q6. Where do I go for further information about the Web of Science Agreement?
- You can contact the Jisc Collections Helpdesk for further information about the Agreements:
- Telephone: +44 (0) 20 3006 6088
Connecting and Access Options
- Q1. How do people access the Web of Science?
- A. Connect to Web of Science at http://wok.mimas.ac.uk and select the "Click here to access Web of Science" button. Your access will be granted if your institution has IP address authentication or you have entered your institution username and password prior to selecting the "Click here to access Web of Science" button, enabling access rights. To check whether your institution subscribes to the Web of Science service and any additional products please check the
current subscribers' list.
- Q2. What will happen if authentication isn't verified when I click the Connect button?
- A. You will see a default page with alternative access options. View the default access page. The three access options are as follows:
- Registered users sign in: This allows users who have created an account within Web of Science and have previously signed in to their account on campus (to activate roaming access) to sign in. More details regarding creating a Web of Science account at:
- Institutional (Shibboleth) users sign in: This allows a user to select their institution from the 'UK Federated list' enter their institution username and password and it will then authenticate access to Web of Science Test access via UK Federation list.
- OpenAthens users sign in: There are two choices when selecting the OpenAthens option, continuation of access by OpenAthens username and password (if your institution continues to issue them) or by typing in the name of your institution in the search box, selecting it from the list that appears beneath, then logging in with your institution username and password when prompted.
- Q3. How do I request Federated Access to Web of Science for my institution?
- Institutions can request set up for Federated Access by completing the relevant setup form on the Thomson Reuters website:
The forms should be completed by the person responsible for Federated Access at an institution. More information on institutional access is provided by Thomson Reuters at: Institutional Access (Shibboleth). The forms can also be used to update the Federated Access details for your institution and to request WAYFless URL link information.
- Q4. How can I access Web of Science from a mobile device?
- Thomson Reuters have used a Responsive Web Design approach in the development of Web of Science whereby the same features/functionality are provided in a layout optimised for easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling regardless of the device used to access it (ie, a mobile phone, tablet, desktop computer monitor, etc). As such, when using a mobile advice it is recommended that you access the 'desktop' version of Web of Science via a web browser.
Documentation and Training
- Q1. Is there documentation available?
- A. Details of the training and support materials available can be found on the WoS Support page. Marketing packs are also available to order, please contact Jisc Web of Science UK Support to request, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Q2. What sort of material is provided?
- A. A full range of training materials, including user guides, quick reference guides and factsheets. Links to these can be found at:
- Q1. What training is offered?
- A. Training sessions are run each year to update the community on new features. Check the Training & Events sections of the Web of Science Support page.
- Webinars on various topics/databases are also frequently available. Check the webinars currently scheduled at:
- Additionally links to pre-recorded training for a range of Web of Science databases can be found at:
- Q1. How do I export records and is there an EndNote (Z39.50) connection available?
- A. There is no direct Z39.50 connection, but references can be directly downloaded into Reference Manager, Procite and Endnote using the Export feature on the Marked Records page. Information on these products and free trials can be found on the Thomson Reuters Bibliographic Management Products web page.
- Further help on exporting records can be found on the WoS Help pages under: "Exporting Records".
- Q2. What browser specifications do I need?
- A. Details of the minimum system and browser requirements advised and supported by Thomson Reuters can be found in the latest Web of Science product release notes, linked to at: http://wokinfo.com/news/new/
In addition, please also note the following:
IE 11: WIN 7 is the only supported operating system compatible with IE 11.
Using unsupported browsers: Some features may have minor issues if you are using an old or unsupported browser. For optimal performance, we advise that you use the recommended browser versions advised in the Web of Science product release notes as these are fully supported. Please be advised that IE 6 or 7 and FireFox 3.6 are no longer supported.
Google Chrome 45 and Java Applets:
Google Chrome no longer supports Java Applets, which are used for Web of Science Structure Search, Citation Maps, and Derwent Innovations Index Compund Search. If you are experiencing a problem, please switch to either FireFox or IE (version 9 or above).
Important note for Windows XP users of Internet Explorer 8: Please download the KB2416400 patch if you receive the error “HTML Parsing Error: Unable to modify the parent container element before the child element is closed (KB927917).
Available at: http://search.microsoft.com/en-us/DownloadResults.aspx?q=KB2416400
Accessing WoS via a proxy server and IE: You may experience browser related issues if accessing Web of Science via a proxy server whilst using IE 8 or above. To resolve you will need to ensure that Internet Explorer is not displaying Web of Science in compatibility mode, to adjust in IE select Tools > Compatability View Settings.
Affected institutions may also find it useful to contact their institution proxy server administrator to request that they check and remove webofknowledge.com from the list of websites added to compatibility view.
- Q3. How long can I remain logged on for?
- A. Thomson Reuters have provided the following information regarding user timeouts:
- "The period of inactivity before a Portal session timeout is actually 240
minutes, or 4 hours. If you leave your Portal session inactive for under
4 hours, as long as when you come back, your max simul users are not
reached you can continue.
- The timeout period in a product in WoS is 10 minutes of inactivity. If
you click any link/button within the product this counts as activity.
- There is an extended timeout period of 60 minutes if user's seat remains
open while they are inactive. However, if you step away for more than 10
minutes and during this inactivity your institution reaches their
maximum number of users, you will receive a session has expired message
when you return to your machine.
- The max user setting is still at 10 minutes. The max simul user rarely
ever becomes an issue as most customer accounts are set such that the
limit will never be reached."
- The timeout period is a minimum of 10 minutes of inactivity before users are automatically logged out by the system. To avoid this, ensure that you are using the navigational buttons within the Web of Science and not your browser's "Back" and "Forward" buttons, as this is not counted as active use.
- Q4. What is "caching"?
- A. Put simply, a cache contains copies of web pages, typically held on your PC. Depending on a number of factors, this local copy can interfere with the expected behaviour of the Web of Science application. You may find that you need to clear your cache (i.e. delete the local copy) to solve any problems.
- Q5. How do I clear my cache and/or cookies?
- A. To clear your cache and/or your cookies select the support page for your specific browser:
- Q6. How do I change the security settings in Internet Explorer to medium/low?
- A. To change the security settings in Internet Explorer to medium/low click on 'Tools' in the web browser and select 'Internet Options'. In the pop up screen click on the security tab then select the "Custom
Level" button. Reset the custom settings to 'Medium /Low' from the drop down box at the base of the screen. You will then need to close and re-open the web browser before attempting to access the databases again.
- Q7. What are the proxy and restrictive outbound web filtering settings required for WoS?
- A. For proxy and restrictive outbound web filtering settings information, please access the updated Knowledgebase article on the Thomson Reuters support page: http://science.thomsonreuters.com/support,
type in '84201' and select 'Search' for the latest information.
- Q8. Is it possible to put links on our library web pages to each of the individual WoS products?
- A. Institutions wishing to put links on their library web pages to each of the individual WoS products subscribed to can use the direct product URLs. Please note that this works best with IP address authentication due to site specific issues possibly causing problems. Please check the direct product links below, (in addition, links to specific editions/indexes can be found at: http://wokinfo.com/directlinks/)
Please note however that users connecting directly to a product will not see the Web of Science Service for UK Education website and may therefore miss important service announcements (as well as links to news items, FAQs, and support documentation etc). Additional direct links to specifc editions and individual indexes can be found at: http://wokinfo.com/directlinks/
- Q9. What is the SID required when configuring my institution's Open URL Resolver?
- Thomson Reuters have advised the following SID for institutions configuring their Open URL Resolver: rfr_id=info:sid/scientific.thomson.com:WoK:PRODUCT_NAME Further information can be found on the Thomson Reuters OpenURL guide.
- Q10. What Web Services are available for Web of Science?
- Web Services provide access to and extraction of the data, whether for building an institutional repository or as part of a large-scale, comprehensive research evaluation program - further information. The Web Services available are:
ResearcherID Web Services
Article Match Retrieval
ResearcherID Upload: ResearcherID Upload is a web-based service that enables administrators to mass create ResearcherID profiles and upload publication data for some or all of the accounts you create for faculty, researchers, etc. at your institution - ResearcherID Upload further information and FAQ.
ResearcherID Download: ResearcherID Download is a web-based service (subscription required) that enables you to query ResearcherID for researchers at your institution and return publication data for them, including times cited counts where applicable, as well as return institution affiliation for researchers at the requesting institution - ResearcherID Download further information and FAQ.
Article Match Retrieval allows for a real-time lookup of bibliographic metadata such as DOI, author, source title, etc., against the Web of Science database (using the institution's subscription entitlements). If a match is found, the service will return Times Cited information as well as links to view the full record, related records page, or citing articles page in Web of Science. An institution can use these links as a way to link into Web of Science from their library web page or institutional repository. Subscribers to Journal Citation Reports can use this service to retrieve links to the JCR record for a given journal - further information and FAQ.
- Q1. How do I use bibliographic desktop software with the Web of Science?
- A. In order to search Web of Science directly via bibliographic software, IP authenticated access to the Web of Science is required (please note that it is not possible to enable IP access to WoS for individuals). Or alternatively that you have been logged in previously to an Athens resource so that an Athens cookie is stored on your machine. Additionally you will find the following information useful when configuring bibliographic software to directly search the Web of Science (please ensure that no spaces are inserted when copying and pasting these search strings):
Reference Manager Base URL:
- Search string for Reference Manager:
- EndNote Base URL:
- Search string for EndNote:
- Alternatively the WoS connection file for Endnote can be downloaded from the Endnote website
You may find the JISCMail EndNote discussion group useful.
- Q2. What are the differences between EndNote Basic and Endnote (desktop version)?
- A. A list of the differences can be found on the Thomson Reuters EndNote web page at:
- Q1. Does the Web of Science cover supplements?
- A. The following is the official feedback from Thomson Reuters regarding supplements in the Web of Science:
- "Supplements published under the title of journal covered in the database are examined on an individual basis. We accept supplements which publish full articles. These articles may be original research, review articles, proceedings, etc. We reject supplements publishing bibliographies, indexes etc. And the majority of science journals containing only meeting abstracts are rejected."
- Q2. How can I view the journal lists and Thomson Reuter's selection criteria for inclusion of journals?
- A. The journal lists and selection criteria information can be found on Thomson Reuters "Journal Lists" page.
- Q3. How do we request enhancements?
- A. By submitting enhancements and suggestions to the Web
of Science support team a list of compiled replies can be sent to the WoSEC (Web of Science Enhancement Committee).
- On the WoSEC are Thomson Reuters, JIBS, and Jisc. It was created under the terms of agreement and is an approved method by which the UK user community can affect the development of the product.
- Minutes of WoSEC meetings can be found on the WoS Support page.
- Q4. When was author address information captured in the Web of Science databases?
- A. Information on the year that author address information was captured in each of the Web of Science databases can be found below:
- For the Science Citation Index Expanded author addresses were captured from 1973 onwards.
- For the Social Science Citation Index author addresses were captured from 1966 onwards.
- For the Arts and Humanities Citation Index author addresses were captured from 1975 onwards.
- Q5. I can access WoS and can search the Web of Science, however why do I get a 'You do not have a session' message when trying to access JCR?
- Users who have reported this problem have the security settings in Internet Explorer set too high, changing the security settings to medium/low should resolve the problem.
- Q6. I should have IP authenticated access to WoS, why am I receiving a login prompt when trying to connect?
- Moving between IP authenticated access and Shibboleth/Open Athens access to WoS could cause this problem. Deleting cookies and clearing the cache of the machine should solve the problem.
- Q7. What are the benefits if I register with the Web of Science?
- Users can register with the Web of Science from the Web of Science homepage. Registration is quick and easy and only needs to be done once. Registered users can take advantage of the following additional features:
- Automatically sign in every time you access Web of Science.
- Select a starting application, which will enable you to start your session in a specific database rather than on the Web of Science All Databases tab.
- Save searches to the Web of Science server that you can later open when you resume your research.
- Set up search history alerts. The alert automatically searches the latest update to the database, and then sends the results to you by e-mail.
- Set up citation alerts, which notify you by e-mail whenever an article on your Citation Alerts list has been cited by a new article. This feature requires a subscription to Web of Science.
- Create an Endnote Basic Library and add references to your EndNote Basic library directly from Web of Science and other database products.
- Create custom journal lists for focused browsing and table of contents alerting (CCC subscribers only)
- Create RSS feeds for saved searches, citation alerts and TOC's (TOC's available to CCC subscribers only)
- Q8. Will I be automatically timed out of the databases?
- You will not be timed out of a portal session, i.e. you will not be automatically logged out of the Web of Science. However the timeout period in a product in WoS is 60 minutes of inactivity. If you click any link/button within the product this counts as activity. More information regarding this can be found in the Technical section of the FAQ.
- Q9. How do I create RSS feeds for saved searches, citation alerts and TOC?
- In order to create RSS feeds for saved searches, citation alerts and TOCs (TOC available to CCC subscribers only) you must first register with the Web of Science service, this is available from the Web of Science Welcome page.
- Once signed into the service click 'My Tools' > 'Saved searches and Alerts', you are able to create the following RSS feeds:
- Saved searches – Click the 'Saved Searches' tab to view any searches you have previously saved, then click on the orange RSS button
- Citation alerts – To create RSS feeds for citation alerts that you have already created select the 'Citation Alerts' tab then click on the orange RSS button.
- TOC – Click on the 'Journal Alerts' tab. For each title listed that you wish to create an RSS feed for, click on the orange RSS button (CCC subscribers only)
Once you have clicked on the RSS button a new window will open containing XML data, copy and paste the URL contained in the address bar of the browser into your RSS reader.