A very common problem in citation search is incorrectly cited references in journal articles, in most cases due to the careless attitudes of authors and even careless journal editors. Librarians often meet carelessly written cited references in daily work and that often makes the retrieval of an article very problematic and ineffective.

But it’s not just a problem when locating items. It’s an even worse problem for the citation databases that use these cited references to count times cited for a journal article. That’s why you should use the Cited reference search when searching all cited references for a journal article in Web of Science.

We checked 2 incorrectly cited references in Web of Science and then checked if it was an author error or a database indexing error by checking up the original journal article. Then we checked if they were corrected in Scopus. Here’s the first example when searching author Aasa A in Web of Science:


The page is incorrect in cited reference 2. It’s page 644 but should be page 664. We checked the citing article as follows:

Checking the same incorrect cited reference in the reference list of the article based on how it’s indexed by Web of Science:

The original article has the incorrect page 644, which should be page 664:

Checking up the same article in Scopus shows the cited reference is correct and must have been corrected by Scopus (or being corrected in the database where the reference is collected from):

Checking up the author Elgh F via Cited Reference Search in Web of Science gives 3 incorrectly cited references with IN PRESS in front of the journal abbreviation:

We checked the two citing articles for one of the incorrectly cited references IN PRESS J VIROL MET:

Checking the cited references of the first citing journal article in Web of Science:

Then we checked the original article and found out that the cited reference is written with the words in press after the journal title J. Virol. Methods. and the in press message should not have been interpreted as a part of the journal title in Web of Science and especially not with in press in front of the journal title.

So let’s check Scopus? It’s correct. In press follows after and separately from the journal title.

As you may also have seen Scopus has 6 cites to the Aasa U article and 33 cites to the Elgh F article. Comparable to Web of Science with 4 cites (5 if you include the incorrect one) to the Aasa U article and 33 cites to the Elgh F article.

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