Syracuse University

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SU Library expands research capabilities with purchase of Web of Science archive

May 07, 2010

Pamela Whiteley McLaughlin
(315) 443-9788

The Syracuse University Library has purchased the Web of Science archive. Coverage of both the Science Citation Index and the Social Sciences Citation Index now extends from 1900-present. The Arts and Humanities Citation Index now covers from 1975-present. Previous coverage for all three databases was from 1985-present.

Web of Science enables researchers to find citations to scholarly articles and track the progress of research not only retrospectively via bibliographies but forward in time via citations. Contrary to its name, Web of Science is a powerful research tool for the social sciences and humanities as well. 

In its description, producer Thomson Reuters states: “The full-file (1900 through present) indexes 32 million articles, papers and other scholarly items from over 230 different disciplines and over 10,000 journals. Of the 50 most highly cited items in Web of Science, more than 60 percent were published over 20 years ago. Via the powerful linking capabilities of the Web, retrospective data ‘comes to life’ and maximizes serendipitous discovery.”

This significant, six-figure purchase by the SU Library was made possible with a consortial discount provided through a partnership the NorthEast Research Libraries (NERL) consortium and after negotiation with Thomson Reuters. Large backfiles like this are an excellent investment since they represent a one-time purchase, rather than an ongoing commitment. The SU Library now owns this content outright rather than needing to lease it year after year.

By pursuing innovative strategies to purchase online content at substantial savings, the library not only stretches its dollars but reaffirms its commitment to providing the highest-quality research tools and the largest amount of scholarly material possible to SU students, faculty members and researchers.

For more information or assistance with the Web of Science archive, contact Scott Warren, bibliographer for the sciences and technology, at (315) 443-8339 or

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