Scopus (Elsevier)

Scopus is an interdisciplinary bibliographical database with more than 61 million items from 105 countries in over 40 languages. It contains:

  • Peer-reviewed journals published from 1823 onwards
  • Conference proceedings
  • Books (mainly on social sciences, the arts and philosophy)
  • Patents

Scopus maintains the following criteria to ensure qualitative resources:

  • The publications are peer-reviews
  • It needs to have an abstract in English
  • It must be published in a regularly appearing periodical
  • The bibliographies have to be in Latin script
  • It needs to meet the criteria for publication ethics

If you want to know if a specific source can be found in Scopus, click the tab ‘Sources’ in the top navigation and look by ISSN, title, publisher or subject area.
To know if your field of study is covered in Scopus, scroll down and click ‘Content coverage’ under 'About Scopus'. Download the Content Coverage Guide.



This database is only accessible within the UGent-network. Use a computer on the network or open a browser in Athena.

Search operators

  • Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT work in Scopus. The OR connection is primary, meaning that "mouse AND NOT cat OR dog" is interpreted as "(mouse) AND NOT (cat OR dog)".
  • If you want to look for a loose or approximate phrase, use double quotation marks, e.g. “desert fox habitat” will look for all combinations with (parts of) these three words, as well as their plural
  • If you want to look for the exact phrase, use accolades, e.g. {Near Infrared Spectroscopy}
  • Use a question mark to replace no or one letters, e.g. food colo?ration
  • Use an asterisk to replace no or any number of letters
  • Use the proximity operator w/x where x is a digit, to look for terms with a maximum of x amount of words in between them
  • Use the proximity operator pre/x where x is a digit, to look for results where there are maximum x amount of words between search term 1 and 2

You can also filter your results by year, field of study, … and sort based on several different categories (date of publication, author, …). Find more information on searching here and on advanced search here.


To copy/paste bibliographical information in the right format, click the title of the article > More... > Create bibliography and select the right citation style. A new tab or window will pop up with the reference correctly formatted.

To export references to EndNote (or other bibliographical software), you only have to select the source(s) you want and click EXPORT. Select RIS format as your method of export and check all the bibliographical information that needs to be in the citation. Click EXPORT and OPEN. Do not forget that you need to access Scopus through a browser opened in Athena to export references to EndNote.

Alerts and saving search results

Scopus allows for e-mail alerts when there are new search results.

To save your search results, you have to log in with your UGent account. To do this, click Log in > Other institution login and follow the instructions. Now you can make lists by selecting articles and clicking ADD TO LIST. Do not forget to save!


When you click on the title of the article, you can find the (biblio)metrics in the right-hand column. Click VIEW ALL METRICS for all the details. Here you can find things like:

  • How many times the source has been cited in total
  • Citation benchmarking: this compares the citations received by the article with those for similar articles. The higher the percentile, the better the score.
  • Field-Weighted Citation Impact: this factor is based on the amount of actually received citations and the amount of expected citations. A value more than 1 means that the article is cited more often than expected.


The video below is an excerpt from a tutorial and explains some of the basic features, such as:

  • How do I access Scopus?
  • How do I use the basic search feature in Scopus?
  • How do I sort and filter my search results?
  • How do I access the full text of an online or print article?
  • How can I find more good keywords?
  • How can I find more articles based on one article?



  • After entering your query, you can click on ANALYZE SEARCH RESULTS to view per year, source, author, affiliation, country, type, and subject area.
  • Find out if the article is available in full text by clicking the SFX-link.
  • Scopus uses ORCID to identify authors. If you notice mistakes, you can report them.

More tips

Translated tip

Last modified March 27, 2024, 3:28 p.m.