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Scopus is a bibliographic database containing abstracts and citations for academic journal articles. It covers nearly 22,000 titles from over 5,000 publishers, of which 20,000 are peer-reviewed journals in the scientific, technical, medical, and social sciences (including arts and humanities). It is owned by Elsevier and is available online by subscription. Searches in Scopus also incorporate searches of patent databases.
Since Elsevier is the owner of Scopus and is also one of the main international publishers of scientific journals, an independent and international Scopus Content Selection and Advisory Board was established to prevent a potential conflict of interest in the choice of journals to be included in the database and to maintain an open and transparent content coverage policy, regardless of publisher. The board consists of scientists and subject librarians.
Evaluating ease of use and coverage of Scopus and the Web of Science (WOS), a 2006 study concluded that "Scopus is easy to navigate, even for the novice user. [...] The ability to search both forward and backward from a particular citation would be very helpful to the researcher. The multidisciplinary aspect allows the researcher to easily search outside of (sic) his discipline" and "One advantage of WOS over Scopus is the depth of coverage, with the full WOS database going back to 1945 and Scopus going back to 1966. However, Scopus and WOS complement each other as neither resource is all inclusive. [...]".
Scopus also offers author profiles which cover affiliations, number of publications and their bibliographic data, references, and details on the number of citations each published document has received. It has alerting features that allows registered users to track changes to a profile and a facility to calculate authors' h-index.
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