6

The reason I'm asking this question is that I've never used Web of Science before. My apologies if it is silly or irrelevant.

I'm gathering materials for an application to a tenure-track job, and one of the things I have to submit is a list of my publications as indexed in WoS. This is an important thing for them, because they make it clear in the call for applications that those publications that are indexed in WoS are going to count more that those that don't (they do it this way because the call is division-wide, not department-specific, so they use WoS as a scholarship quality metric that doesn't require the members of the search committee to be experts in the specific fields of the candidates).

WoS behaves well in that, if I query my name and field, it returns all of my journal publications, including a couple of obscure book reviews I did in my first year of grad school. On the other hand, it also behaves badly in that it fails to return anything that is not a journal publication. This bothers me because I have a couple of book chapters with reputable presses (e.g., OUP) and proceedings of high-profile conferences that my peers and mentors acknowledge are as important (in terms of quality and contribution to the field) as any of my journal publications; but because they don't appear in WoS, the search committee will view them as second-rate publications.

The question is, is there a way I can make WoS index these publications?

2
  • 7
    That is a deeply regrettable scheme for evaluating applications. I don't think Web of Science was ever intended as any kind of "quality stamp" for the sources it indexes. I don't have a solution for you, only condolences. – Nate Eldredge Sep 8 '14 at 15:52
  • 2
    I was afraid this was going to be the answer. Your condolences are gladly accepted. – Koldito Sep 8 '14 at 17:49
4

Web of Science is terrible in coverage of many fields (not sure what yours is from the post), and if you're stuck with it, you're stuck with it. Try to see if there's anywhere that you can also say, "and here are my important publications that WoS doesn't cover, and here are all of their many many citations..."

1
  • Indeed, do not "submit" to the vagaries of commercial "status arbiters"... While employers may enjoy the seeming convenience of a single number by which to rank applicants, those numbers are not seriously reflective of much... but one must both be politic about this, and yet assert that there is something beyond the for-profits' product. – paul garrett Oct 9 '14 at 23:10
1

To answer the question directly, No, you can't get Web of Science to index your other publications. They only index papers from a collection of sources that they've deemed high quality and been able to negotiate access to. If the journal you've published in isn't on their list (or if you've published in a conference proceedings volume or a book chapter) then it simply won't be indexed. Furthermore, their citation counts won't include citations that occurred in publications that they don't index.

Other services have different policies on this. Google Scholar is perhaps the most broad in its coverage, but this sometimes includes things like student term papers that aren't in any normal sense considered "publications." There are also various discipline specific services (such as MathSciNet for pure mathematics) but their coverage is often quite narrow.

When comparing the publications and citation counts of two scholars in the same field, you can typically use any of these sources and assume that the two authors are on an even playing field. However, it's a very unwise idea to do this across disciplines, since the various services have very different coverage of different fields. For example, Web of Science does an awful job of covering computer science (particularly because of the many important conference proceedings in that discipline) but gives much more reasonable coverage of fields like chemistry and physics.

Similarly, it's unreasonable to compare citation counts across the different services because of the differences in what they index.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.