Source title search

When searching journal title abbreviation (in the version of Web of Science with archive from 1945 to present) New Engl J Med you get no hits. Truncated New Engl* J* Med* returns 81.820 hits. Searching New England Journal of Medicine gives same result.

A search on either Social science & medicine or Social science medicine returns 10.568 hits. A search for Social science and medicine on the other hand returns 0 hits, as does the journal abbreviation Soc Sci Med. A truncated search on Soc* Sci* Med* returns most 11.662.

Also worth mentioning is that search #5 in the search history was not possible to delete. Though I tried both Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Regarding the truncated search with 11.662 hits, a random check on result page 1000 shows the title: SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE PART C-MEDICAL ECONOMICS:

A search for Social Science & Medicine combined with author Kriedel as in the previous example returns 0 hits. The part A-F is not retrieved when searching Social Science & Medicine.
A search on abbreviated Lancet Neurol or BMj returns 0 hits. Truncated Lancet Neurol* or full title Lancet Neurology as British Medical Journal returns all hits.

Using the Full source titles list and browsing Social Science Medicine returns a list of all parts A-F to the journal.

The conclusion is that searching abbreviated journal titles is impossible in Web of Science and far from perfect in Scopus, but in general it’s more precise to search journal titles in Web of Science than Scopus as long as there are no subparts of the journal. Then you have to truncate or browse in Full source.

A search in Scopus on the journal abbreviation New Engl J Med in Scopus gives 3 hits.

By combining the full journal title New England journal of medicine with the title of the first article gives a satisfying hit:

By combining the full journal title with the title of the second hit gives this unsatisfying hit:

By combining the full journal title with the title of the third hit gives this strange hit:

Everything is satisfying besides the publication year which differs between this hit, with publication year 1975, and the other hit in the first search, with publication year 1974. According to Pubmed it should be 1974.
Searching the full title New England journal of medicine gives both New England Journal of Medicine and New England Journal of medicine with a lower case m in medicine. Trying to truncate New Engl* J* Med* gives all hits, even the three records with abbreviations.

Searching the Social Science & Medicine journal with the following 3 variants gives 9.322 records on all three variants: Social Science Medicine, Social Science and Medicine or Social Science & Medicine.

Searching the journal abbreviation Soc Sci Med gives 7 records. All seven records are not possible to retrieve searching the article titles combined with full source title: Social Science and Medicine. Trying to truncate soc* sci* med* returns 8,557 records on the spelling social science and medicine, and also unrelated titles because the journal subtitle is also indexed. Together 11,833 records. Here you also retrieve variants as Soc Sci Med and Part A-F.

Testing some other titles gives the following results. Searching British Medical Journal gives 78,067 hits, but searching the abbreviation BMJ gives 13,231 hits.

Searching Lancet Neurol gives 88 hits and searching Lancet neurology gives 730 hits. Truncating the abbreviated title Lancet Neurol* gives 818 hits and that includes both the abbreviated records and Lancet Neurology and Lancet. Neurology.

So what’s the conclusion with Scopus: search both the abbreviation and the full title. Truncating the journal abbreviation gives you all titles including the abbreviated journal title records and sometimes irrelevant journal titles.

But what happens if you go to Sources button in Scopus and browse journals? Searching New England Journal of Medicine returns a list of 48887 records.

Compared to 50181 records searching in source title with truncated abbreviation New Engl* J* Med*. The 48887 records are all records on New England Journal of Medicine without the variants New England Journal of medicine and New Engl J Med.

Browsing Social Science and Medicine via Sources gives the same problem. Just the 8557 records and not the variants. Lancet Neurology gives 730 records and British Medical Journal 71322 records.

The conclusion is: If you want to be sure to receive all articles for a journal don’t use the browsing option through Sources-button in Scopus.