While it is fast and simple to conduct a basic search on Web of Science (WoS), to build a corpus for a bibliometric analysis, the search needs to be precise, with as many relevant articles as possible included, while excluding irrelevant ones, that will just create noise. To do this, you may need a search with many search terms. It is also important to save the search, both in case you want to update your corpus, but also for when you publish. As the search constitutes the basis for the data you are going to analyze, it must be reported in the article (or appendix).

With synonyms galore, spelling variations, random use of hyphens and various endings to a keyword, I have found it useful to build my search in a spreadsheet. Once it is created, I can then just copy the cells, and past them in the “advanced search” box in WoS.

To see my template, please download my Excel document.

Search for articles with Excel for Web

When building a search, there are also great tools, such as a keyword thesaurus, such as at Psychinfo and Business source complete.

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