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Scopus LibGuide: Searching Scopus


In Scopus, you can search by Documents, Authors or Organization. For details of the Author and Organization search please see the Author and Organization tabs.

Document search

Documents include journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, articles in press and data papers. Follow the steps below to learn how to perform a basic document search:

  • Enter your search terms into the Search documents box [1]
    • By default, Scopus will search in the Article title, Abstract and Keywords of documents
  • You can specify in which fields to search using the drop-down menu [2]
  • Use the +Add search field [3] option to add additional fields 
  • Each new search field is combined using the Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT [4]
  • Select Add date range [5] to either select a publication date range or to specify an "added to Scopus" date range
  • To see a complete list of advanced field codes, select Advanced document search [6]
  • Your Search History is displayed with the option to Set Alert [7] to notify you by email of new search results in Scopus that match that search
  • Select More [8] to save an important query or to delete a query
  • To combine queries from your history, choose two or more searches and select Combine queries [9]

Document results page

Editing your search, saving your search and setting alerts

  • Saving your search and setting up alerts [1]
  • Quickly review or edit your search from the top of the page [2]
  • By default, the search results are sorted by date. Use the ‘Sort by’ drop-down menu to sort in a different order. [3]
  • Refine your results [4] From the left-hand menu, you can:

    • Search within your results
    • Use filters to limit or exclude results from your search, including, but not limited to:
      • Author name
      • Open Access type (learn more about the Open Access filter below)
      • Year
      • Subject area
      • Publication stage
      • Keyword
      • Affiliation
      • Funding sponsor



Registered users can sign in to:

  • Save searches
  • Set up alerts to be notified when new documents are added to Scopus that match this search

Export results

Export selected search results [5] to various file types, reference managers and platforms

  • Mendeley
  • RefWorks
  • SciVal
  • RIS format (for import into EndNote
  • CSV
  • BibTeX
  • Plain Text

Analyze search results

Analyze Search Results button [6]

Use this feature to gain further insights into any list of document results.

Search Tips

Search Tips in Scopus

  • loose phrase, use double quotation marks
  • “heart attack” will search for documents where heart and attack appear together
  • asterisk is a wildcard
  • “criminal* insan*” finds criminally insane and criminal insanity. 
  • exact phrase, enclose the phrase in braces  { }

Note: {heart-attack} and {heart attack} return different results, as the first will search for results that contain a hyphen between heart and attack

Secondary documents

Scopus also features non-Scopus references, called ‘secondary documents’, which are not indexed in our database for three possible reasons:

  • They are retrieved from the references or citations of the documents that are covered by Scopus
  • Scopus is unable to match documents with certainty due to incomplete or incorrect data
  • There is missing content

To view these non-Scopus references, click ‘Secondary documents’ above your search results.

Cited reference search

Scopus provides the ability to search the list of cited references in articles, books, etc. If the reference which you are starting with is very relevant to your research, other related publications have probably cited references that are also relevant to your research. Cited reference searching is a useful extension to your standard keyword search.

Open Access filters

Refine your results [4]

On the document details page, you can filter by Open Access types,  including:

  • All open access
  • Gold: Documents that are in journals that only publish open access
  • Hybrid Gold: Documents that are in journals that provide authors the choice of publishing open access
  • Bronze: Published version of record or manuscript accepted for publication; the publisher has chosen to provide temporary or permanent free access
  • Green: Published version or manuscript accepted for publication, available at the repository