Scopus or Web of Science? Which database is best to publish an article in?

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In contemporary scientific world, the matter of publishing an article in a journal that is part of the scientometric databases of Scopus and/or Web of Science has become really relevant. Scientists make a choice in favour of various factors that affect the choice of a particular bibliographic platform. Let us take a closer look at these two databases in order to understand the publishing process in the journals that are included in them.

Scopus или Web of Science? В какой базе данных лучше опубликовать статью?

Scopus and Web of Science are the largest scientometric platforms in the world and have their own unique history of creation and development.

Both databases index journals, books, and conferences on technical, biological, natural, humanities, social sciences, and art. A researcher needs to understand that this is world-wide literature.


Web of Science
Database was created in 2004. It is owned by the Elsevier publishing company. Until 2014, this multidisciplinary platform was owned by Thomson Reuters. But since November 2016 it is owned by Clarivate Analytics

Which journals are indexed in Scopus and Web of Science?



Web of Science

Scopus includes many international publishers:

The main WoS citation platform is the Web of Science Core Collection, which consists of 3 citation indices:

Elsevier (10%)

Springer (8%),

Wiley-Blackwell (5%),

Taylor&Francis (5%) 

SAGE (2%)

Oxford University Press (1%) и другие.

- Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) – indexes the most respected publications in the world.

- Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) – indexes the world's most respected publications; indexes social science journals.

- Art and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI) – indexes art and humanities journals.

Apart from these core indices, the Web of Science Core Collection includes:

- Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI).

- The Book Citation Index (BKCI).

- Conference Proceedings Citation Index (CPCI). 


Scopus and WoS adhere to the strictest peer-review policy and the expert advice from these databases ensures a careful selection of scientific content.   

Journal selection criteria

  • Expert evaluation (peer review).
  • Strict adherence to publication ethics.
  • Compliance with all technical standards.
  • The journal must have an ISSN, a site with an English version, and a stable publication release plan.
  • High-quality, relevant, unique content, etc.

Key citation indicators


Web of Science

  • SJR (SCImago Journal & Country Rank)

  • SNIP (Source Normalized Impact Per Paper)

  • CiteScore (CS)   

  • Impact factor (IF)

These indicators help to evaluate journals, their citation level, analyse the dynamics of work, build a development strategy.     

This indicator was created to analyse the activities of the journal in WoS. It is calculated for publications that are part of the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI). IF shows the influence of the journal.

In both Scopus and Web of Science, the researcher’s activity is measured thanks to the Hirsch index, which was proposed by the American physicist Jorge Hirsch in 2005.

Author’s profile




The database creates a profile right after the first publication in a Scopus-indexed journal. However, if you do not have an access to the platform, the researcher’s “cabinet” will open only after the second publication. Thanks to the advanced search, an author can see and analyse their scientific and publication activity, as well as find colleagues, their works, indicators, abstracts, lists of references, articles by keywords, title, etc.

Very recently, the Web of Science database developers created the author’s profile called “Author Search”, which helps demonstrate scientific achievements and scientometric indicators of a scientist. Its functionality is very similar to the author’s profile in Scopus.

Speed and cost of publication

The speed and cost of publishing in these two databases differs. Many scientists believe that publishing an article in journals that are included in the Web of Science is easier and cheaper than in Scopus. But in practice, this is most often not the case. The publication period in WoS can last from a year, when in Scopus – from 9 months.

Both databases are actively working on monitoring journals that claim to be included or are already indexed in the database. Special Committees review the activities of each publication and annually decide to exclude journals from their lists or not. Therefore, it is important for a researcher to consider their scientific and publishing tasks and choose a journal that conducts an adequate and correct publication policy and will not be excluded from Scopus or Web of Science.

Our company “Scientific Publications – Publ.Science” is a leader in scientific and publishing consulting and helps researchers from all over the world to select high-quality journals for their publications. If you need such help, contact us using the chat on the site and we will respond to you within a day.

We remind you that we have recently released the material "Elsevier opened remote access to its resources."

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