Scopus guide

Instructions for use of the Scopus database


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 = ​authors' organizations where the research is conducted.
  • Country = countries of the affiliations.