We performed a systematic literature review using the three databases Scopus, ACM Digital Library, and IEEE Xplore. Comment from one reviewer was that Scopus contains the other two databases, and thus searching ACM and IEEE is redundant. Our results do not indicate that Scopus covers the two databases.

Question: Does Scopus cover the ACM Digital Library and IEEE Xplore databases?

The empirical search results suggest that it is not sufficient to search in Scopus and get all results from ACM and IEEE also in Scopus. However, there are at least two things that could be partially responsible for the empirical results not always helping here: (a) The time lag in updating the indexes (when and how often are the ACM and IEEE databases integrated into the Scopus database?) and the search methodology (in ACM, full text is apparently searched by default (instead of abstract, title and keywords), we got more articles in ACM than in Scopus, but could not attribute this to the search methodology. However, we cannot exclude errors on our part here.

Furthermore, there are systematic literature reviews in well-ranked journals that search all three databases, among others, e.g.: Johnson, D., Deterding, S., Kuhn, K.-A., Staneva, A., Stoyanov, S., & Hides, L. (2016). Gamification for health and wellbeing: A systematic review of the literature. Internet Interventions, 6, 89–106.

Our search for "official information" found the Scopus Content Coverage Guide 1. Here IEEE is mentioned as indexed, ACM does not appear, but there is a rather large "Other" block of 60%.

  • 3
    Seems fairly easy to test: Did your Scopus searches yield articles in ACM or IEEE journals?
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 20:17
  • 1
    Do you mean to ask if there are journals or conferences indexed in the IEEE and ACM databases but not Scopus? If your results do not indicate so, can't you just point out a few results that can be found directly through IEEE and ACM but not through Scopus?
    – jDAQ
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 5:21
  • Thank you for your comments! I added further information to the question for clarification.
    – Heinrich
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 6:06
  • 1
    When you say IEEE do you mean IEEE Xplore? And by ACM do you mean the ACM Digital Library or the ACM Guide to Computing Literature? Please be precise with the exact name of the database, or else there is no possibility of getting an accurate answer.
    – Tripartio
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 19:47

2 Answers 2


Scopus has a complete source title list you can download at the bottom of this page ("Download the Source title list").

If I filter for IEEE the column Publisher imprints grouped to main Publisher, I find 350 results (distinct journals/transactions indexed in Scopus).

The IEEE website, hwoever, speaks of 393 journals (see here, left-side menu). It thus raises the suspicion that not all IEEE journals are indexed in Scopus (probably 43 are missing).

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Most likely the newer media are not indexed.

Some examples I found not to be in Scopus' source title list:

  • IEEE Transactions on Artificial Intelligence (since 2020)
  • IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Information Theory (since 2020)
  • IEEE Open Journal of Signal Processing (since 2020)
  • IEEE Transactions on Signal and Power Integrity (started in 2022)

It is likely that there will be similar patterns with regards to ACM.


In my opinion, it is highly unlikely that Scopus covers everything in IEEE Xplore and ACM Digital Library. To know precisely, you will need to look for the documentation on each of the three sources (Scopus, IEEE Xplore, and ACM Digital Library) to find the exact full lists of their coverage and then compare these lists. Given that these are three independent database sources and they are constantly adding (and to a lesser extent, removing) sources independently of each other, I think the chances that the three of them would perfectly overlap are close to zero.

On a side note, just in case you are not aware, Scopus is fundamentally different in nature from IEEE Xplore and ACM Digital Library. IEEE Xplore and ACM Digital Library are full-text databases that archive the full texts of most of the articles in their databases. However, Scopus is an abstract database. That means that it does not archive full texts directly. Rather, it only archives abstracts (along with titles and keywords, of course). For full-text access, Scopus links directly to your institution's library with all the databases that your institution has subscribed to. If your institution has full-text access to the article, then Scopus will link to it. But if your institution does not have full-text access to the article, then Scopus cannot provide it, either.

In this way, Scopus is analogous not to the ACM Digital Library (nor to IEEE Xplore) but to the ACM Guide to Computing Literature which works similarly as an abstract database. Since this is also an ACM source, it is most likely that the ACM Guide to Computing Literature fully contains everything in the ACM Digital Library and a lot more. Although it probably does not overlap 100% with IEEE Xplore (because IEEE is independent from ACM), I would guess that it probably overlaps better than Scopus because its research domain is closer. So, if you want to search in just one place, I think the ACM Guide to Computing Literature might be your best source.

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