Bibliometrics and Impact Factor: Scopus

This guide explains how impact factor is used and calculated in journal and article rankings, as well as other methods of citation analysis.


Scopus is a comprehensive database for scientific, technical and medical information, containing approximately 13,000 journal titles from 4,000 publishers, and abstracts going back to 1966. It provides searching capability, linking to full-text sources, cited references, saved search and alerting feature, and is the most comprehensive A&I database of scientific literature ever assembled.


  1. Connect to the Scopus database.
  2. Use the search box tabs to perform an Advanced, Affiliation, Author, or Document search. Use the "Refine Results" column on the left to specify which documents you would like citation information for.
  • Document Search: Do a search by Article Title, Abstract or Keywords. On the results page, change the "Sort by" drop-down box on the right to "Citations." This wil give the citations for those results from highest to lowest listed (citations numbers are listed to the right of the result information).  
  • Author Search: Enter author last name, and if known, first name or initials (to narrow search if specific author is known, click the box "Show exact search matches" to the right of the search field). You can also enter an affiliation for that author, if known, to narrow search. In the results page, select the author you are searching for. The following page under "Research" will list the number of citations as a link which will then take you to the documents that have cited the author, or you can view a "Citation Overview" chart by clicking the link next to the citation number. There is also the "Cited by.." box in the right column of the page, which displays the number of citations and several of the most recent articles.
  • Affiliation Search: Search for a particular affiliation (Example: University of Utah) and click on the Affiliation name from the results list. On the following page, click on the number link next to "Documents" under the Research section. To the right of the results on the following page, change the "Sort By" drop-down to "Citations." This will give you a list of all the documents from University of Utah from highest to lowest citations. Note: If there are specific sources/journals that contain many articles under the Research section, this same search refinement can be used - changing the "Sort By" drop-down to "Citations."
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