Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Database quick guides: Scopus

Quick references of the most central databases in the University of Oulu


Database guide: Scopus

Truncation and wildcard


replaces 0...n characters anywhere in a word


replaces a single character anywhere in a word

- can be used to search the alternative spellings of the same word

> products, production, producting, producted, productive

> neurobehavior, biobehavioural

organi?ation = organisation = organization

anesthesia = anaesthesia

Plurals and possessives

The singular form of a word finds also the plural form and possessive forms of most words.

Any form finds other forms.

> steel, steels

> child, child's, children, children's

> child, child's, children, children's

> foot, feet

Hyphenated words

Hyphenated form finds hyphenated and non-hyphenated forms.

Non-hyphenated form is treated as separate words.

Some hyphenated words are also written combined. With these you must use OR operator.

> talk-show, talk show, talk-shows, talk shows

talk-show OR "talk show" OR "talk shows"

non-formal OR nonformal


1) double quotation marks

- wildcards can be used

- the singular form of a word finds also the plural form of most words

"criminal* insan*"

"financial technology" 
financial technology, financial technologies

2) braces = exact search

- find documents that contain exactly that enclosed in braces

- wildcards are searched as actual characters: * is searched as asterisk, not as a truncation

- the singular form of a word does not retrieve the plural form


{out of hospital}
out of hospita

{to be or not to be?}
to be or not to be?

Boolean operators

- are not case sensitive

Terms in the same search field are processed as an AND operation. wind power
= wind AND power

Without parentheses operator precedence is:

  1. OR
  2. W/n, PRE/n
  3. AND
  4. AND NOT
Use parentheses to override operator precedence. The expression inside the parentheses is executed first.

finland or finnish and pisa 
= (finland or finnish) and pisa



(wind AND power) OR (solar AND energy)  

Proximity operators

- for two or more words that occur within a specified number of words (or fewer) of each other

- truncation is possible

- you can use parentheses to multiply terms

W/n regardless of the order, n ≥ 0

energy w/2 polic*

robot* w/1 (hand OR arm)

(distan* OR online OR virtual* OR remote*) w/5 (education OR learn* OR teach*)

PRE/n in the order in which you entered them, n ≥ 0

heart PRE/0 attack = "heart attack"

cable pre/1 television

(robot* w/2 hand) OR (robot* pre/3 arm)

Use Advanced search 


> 2312 = Water Science and Technology. 

TITLE-ABS-KEY("early childhood" AND teach*) AND SUBJTERMS (3204 OR 3304)
> Search terms in subject areas 3204 Developmental and Educational Psychology or 3304 Education.

AF-ID("Oulun Yliopisto" 60012954) AND SUBJTERMS(3204 OR 3304)
> Affiliation University of Oulu in subject areas mentioned above.

TITLE-ABS-KEY ( finnish )  AND  SUBJTERMS ( 3310  OR  1203 )
> Search term in subject areas 1203 Arts and Humanities: Language and Linguistics or 3310 Social Sciences: Linguistics and Language or 3315 Communication.

Subject area

  • Titles in Scopus are classified under 27 major subject areas. Titles may belong to more than one subject area, multidisciplinary titles belong to all subject areas.
  • Articles inherit the subject area assigned to the journal they are published in.
  • Subject area "Social Sciences" includes e.g.: Archeology, Education, Geography, Library and Information Sciences, Linguistics and Language, Sociology and Political Science, Anthropology, Communication, Gender Studies, Political Science and International Relations, Urban Studies.

Document type

  • e.g. article, review, conference paper, book, data paper.
  • For reviews refine with Review or search e.g. with: "systematic review" OR "systematic literature review" OR meta-analysis.

Affiliation & Country/territory

  • Affiliation = ‚Äčauthors' organizations where the research is conducted.
  • Country = countries of the affiliations.