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A how-to of the Kettering & MeL databases

Web of Science

Web of Science is an indexing database, and does not contain full-text articles. However, the full-text of the articles may be available through the library through their DOI. 

Because the articles are available through a variety of databases, creating a persistent link for each will vary.

If you need assistance creating a persistent link for an article found through MathSciNet, please contact the librarians at

Using the Web of Science

Web of Science is a large scholarly index, constructed to excel at forward and backward citation searching, rather than subject searching. 

  • IMPORTANT *** the word "Science" in the name of this database name connotes "knowledge".

  • The index is NOT limited to life, physical, or mathematical science.

  • Rather it indexes ALL academic scholarly research - this is a multidisciplinary database, focused largely on articles from scholarly, peer-reviewed journals.

The most powerful features of Web of Science is the ability to discover the FORWARD citation trail on a key article. Not only can we see the relative influence of a research study, but we can also document the community of scholars whose work sits on the shoulders of our key studies. By following the "who cited whom"  trail forward a few generations, a community of scholars emerges.. often across disciplines. This kind of searching can be fascinating.

This database was built with the unique power to follow the citation trail and the search functionality reflects that primary purpose.

With no thesaurus of descriptors [ subject headings] ,  the subject search function of this database is fairly limited, as intended. 

There are three truncation symbols in Web of Science:
STAR *   retrieves  zero or more characters after the star.
Example :   Leader* retrieves  leader, leaders, leadership
DOLLAR SIGN $ retrieves zero or one character after the dollar sign
Example:  labo$r  retrieves labor or labour
QUESTION MARK ? retrieves one character after the question mark
Example:  wom?n  retrieves  women or woman
There are limited proximity operators in this search engine :

Exact phrase :  Use quotation marks ""  e.g.   "transformational learning"

SAME :   The same operator says that the words must be in the same sentence.  e.g.  transformational SAME learning

You cannot control how many words they might be from one anothr or in which order.

A sentence is a period limited string of words.

In the keyword field, which has no sentences, SAME will return records with both words in the field.

Journal Citation Reports

Welcome to the Journal Citation Reports tutorial. This tutorial will give you an overview of the product and how to use it in your research.

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