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Search Biomedical Literature: A How-To Guide

Overview of steps and resources to assist researchers searching biomedical literature

What is Scopus?

What is Scopus?

Scopus is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary abstract and citation database. It includes:

  • 29 million records with references after 1995
  • 21 million pre-1996 records (back to 1823)
  • 21,000 different journals from 5000 publishers, including open source
  • 5.5 million conference papers (proceedings and journals)
  • 100 % MEDLINE coverage, most EMBASE records
  • Links to UVic licensed full text

Scopus Homepage

Scopus Resources

Affiliation Search

When you search by affiliation, just type the affiliation's name. The search will begin to auto-populate.

For example, try a search for University of Victoria and note how the results change depending on how the search is expressed. Typing Victoria will return a number of options for selection. 

Author Search

When you search by authors, you can search by last and/or first name. You also have the option to search by ORCID.

Document Search

Documents include journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, articles in press and data papers. Follow the steps below to learn how to perform a basic document search:

  • Enter your search terms into the Search documents box [1]
    • By default, Scopus will search Article title, Abstract and Keywords of documents
  • You can specify in which fields to search using the drop-down menu [2]
  • Use the +Add search field [3] option to add additional fields 
  • Each new search field is combined using the Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT [4]
  • To see a complete list of advanced field codes, select Advanced document search [5]

Search Tips

Search Tips in Scopus

  •  loose phrase, use double quotation marks

 “heart attack” will search for documents where heart and attack appear together 

  • asterisk is a wildcard

 “criminal* insan*” finds criminally insane and criminal insanity. 

  • exact phrase, enclose the phrase in braces  { }

Note: {heart-attack} and {heart attack} return different results, as the first will search for results that contain a hyphen between heart and attack

Creative Commons License
This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.