This tutorial covers how to use Web of Science. 

  • The flexible search options provided by Web of Science
  • How to create, customize, and refine a search
  • How to find and use other tools offered by Web of Science

To begin, from the Parrish Library homepage, select the List of Business Databases on the left side of the page.

Then select Web of Science from the list of Parrish databases.

(If you are off campus, it will ask for your Purdue username and password.)

This is the homepage for Web of Science, which covers bibliographic information, author abstracts, cited references and related references in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Web of Science provides you with an initial topic search on the homepage. And, by default, searches "All Databases." 

To choose a particular database, locate and click the arrow next to "All Databases under the "Web of Science" banner.

Then, choose "Web of Science Core Collection." 

Next, we'll deselect everything but Social Sciences Citation Index. This is the database we'll use for our sample search.

While Web of Science defaults to a simple topic search, you can change the search field to something more suitable to your search, like title or author as well.

Click the drop down menu under "Topic" to view these options.

You can also add as many search fields as you need, to create an Advanced Search. 

Click "+Add Another Field" to do so.

Now that we have an advanced search ready, let's try a search. 

In the first box, type "economics."

In the second box, type "soil."

Then, click "search."

You’ll find your number of results in the top left corner of the results page. If you have too many results, you might want to consider refining your results. You’ll find several ways of doing so on the left side of the page.

Locate the Refine options.

As an example, let's choose the category "environmental sciences" to refine our search.

After you've checked the box, click "Refine"

Now you should have far fewer results to go through, and they'll be much more tailored to what you need. 

Let's examine our results. 

If you’re interested in a particular result, look at the buttons below the title.

Locate the “Full Text” button. This will allow you to connect to the full text. If this button does not appear, the “Find it @ Purdue” button may take you to the article in a different database or show you how to find it in print at one of the University Libraries.

Locate the Journal Citation Reports button at the top of the page. By clicking this, you can find data about articles, citations, and impact factor. 

Click on "Search" to take you back to the search page. Here, you can revise your search or access My Tools.

From this page, click on "My Tools." 

This allows you to save searches and access EndNote Web, a popular citation manager. 

Now you know about the flexible search options provided by Web of Science, how to create, customize, and refine a search; and how to find and use other tools offered by Web of Science. 

If you need any further information, contact us at 

Thank you!