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  • 4.2 Data Acquisition and Preparation

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ISI Web of Science (WoS) is a leading citation database cataloging over 10,000 journals and over 120,000 conferences. Access it via the "Web of Science" tab at (note: access to this database requires a paid subscription). Along with Scopus, ISI WoS provides some of the most useful datasets data sets for scientometric analysis.
To find all publications by an author, search for the Publications may be obtained by querying the Web of Science database by a variety of fields within the database, such as topic, author and journal names, date ranges, etc. There are two methods for exporting data from Web of Science: direct data exporting from the search interface, and through adding records to a marked list. Direct data exporting from searches provides the fastest method to gather the most used data fields in a search, and provides less room for user selection bias of a group of records. Web of Science Marked Lists allow users to select only the records that interest them and select specific data to be exported from the various databases that a user's institution subscribes to. ISI Web of Science - Direct Exporting

In this tutorial, we will download publication data using a query by with an author name. Author names should be searched using the last name and the first initial followed by an asterisk wildcard in the author field. To find papers by Eugene Garfield, enter Garfield E* in the author field. The search yielded 1,551 results on January 23, 2014, 500 of which can be downloaded at a time, see Figure 4.22a.

Figure 4.22a: ISI Web of Science search interface and ISI Web of Science search results

To download the first 500 article records with citations, go to the bottom of the page, and from the drop down menu, select "Save to Other File Formats". A box will appear on the screen where you can manually select records '1' to '500', select 'Full Record and Cited References', select 'Save to Plain Text' in the drop down menu, and then click send, see figure 4.3a2b. This process can be repeated to obtain records and citations by adjusting the manually selected records by units of 500, e.g. select records "501" to "1000" for the Garfield example.

Figure 4.3a2b: Saving records from Web of Science

Wait for the processing to complete, and then save the file as GarfieldE.isi. The resulting file can be seen in Figure 4.3b2c.

Figure 4.3b2b: Saving Records from Web of Science

Figure 4.3a2c: View of saved GarfieldE.isi ISI Web of Science - Marked List Data Exporting

Downloading WoS data from a marked list is very similar to the process of downloading data directly from the search page. With this tutorial, we will skip the instructions on how to run a basic WoS search, which is described in the section above.

After you have refined your search query to the WoS database, you will want to add records to your Marked List. To do this, you may select individual articles using the check boxes next to a publication record and then selecting the button, "Add to Marked List", see figure 4.3a.


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Figure 4.3a: Locating the Marked List button on Web of Science

You may also add records to the Marked List using a range of publication records in a search result. To do this, select the "Add to Marked List" button in the search result page without adding marks to individual publication records. Next, a box will pop up in the screen that allows you to enter a range for the publication records that you are interested and then select the "Add" button, see figure 4.3b for a picture of this screen.

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Figure 4.3b: Specifying a the range of records in a Marked List on Web of Science

You will notice that the publications you have selected in the search page will now have orange checks next to them, and the Marked List tab on the Navigation bar for the site will be updated to include the total number of records in your list. After you've completed adding publication records to your marked list you will want to visit the Marked List page. Click on the link in the navigation bar named "Marked List" that has an orange count box next to it, see figure 4.3c.

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Figure 4.3c: Click the Marked List link in the navigation bar to access the Marked List page on Web of Science

The Marked List page provides you with a list of publications selected and various means of exporting publication data, including limiting exports to specific databases that are part of the WoS database. To export the most amount of data from WoS and to ensure the most replicable results, it is best to choose the Web of Science Core Collection export tool. The export tool outlines the various steps you will need to take: from selecting the exported records, selecting the content for exporting, and the format that the data will come in, see figure 4.3d for a view of this export tool.

The Web of Science Core Collection export tool allows you to select a variety of fields, including correspondence addresses of researchers, funding information, cited reference lists, keywords and WoS categories and research areas, etc.

Like direct data exporting, make sure to select the format option "Save to Other File Formats" and Plain Text.  You will also be limited to exporting 500 records at a time, which means that you will have to combine data sets manually after downloading all publications (see for instructions here).

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Figure 4.3d: Selecting data fields and exporting data from a Marked List

ISI files are loosely based on the RIS file format, and data in this format can be used for the following types of analyses: