Tips for using Scopus: finding the most significant articles on a topic

Swansea University library has a subscription to the SCOPUS database, a vast multidisciplinary index of academic materials. The database is straightforward to use for a search and will hopefully retrieve a substantial set of results for your topic. However, if you wish to identify which are the most influential articles for your topic, you can use the “Sort By” drop-down box to re-order your results and display the most-cited articles first:
When you have selected to view details of a particular article in SCOPUS, you can then click through to see details of all the articles that cite it:
Screenshot of Scopus showing option to view citations
There is then a further option to analyze this citation data:
Scopus screenshot showing Analyze Results

You can then view the citation patterns according to these criteria:

  • Year: see the pattern of citations over time
  • Source: see which journal titles it was cited in
  • Author: see which authors cited the article the most
  • Affiliation name: see which institutions cited the article the most
  • Country
  • Document Type e.g. article, conference paper etc.
  • Subject area
You can also export the citation data as a .csv file (suitable for use in Excel): the export file will only contain the data for the specific criteria you are viewing (e.g. Year).


For more information, see our Guide to Scopus for Researchers (PDF) and a general guide to using Scopus (PDF).

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