Blog / Other

scite's coverage of the scholarly literature

Thu Feb 16 2023

One question that often comes up relates to coverage: that is, how many articles are indexed in scite, and how many do we have citations from? This question is sometimes posed as a comparison to other services such as Scopus, Web of Science, and PubMed.

In fact, such comparisons are probably inappropriate, as scite is designed around citations, and no other service has this feature as its core product. More specifically, while other services do provide some citation data, it is presented alongside other paper metadata, and usually limited to uploaded or open-access articles. Moreover, some databases are deliberately limited to certain subject areas (e.g., PubMed, which focuses on biomedical research) - so we wouldn’t expect them to have metrics similar to other, multidisciplinary products such as scite.

With that in mind, we can, however, do some basic comparisons in terms of articles indexed in scite compared to other services. scite indexes (that is, has metadata for) every item that has been assigned a DOI - be it a paper, book, preprint, dataset, etc. This is effectively the same set of scholarly documents that is indexed by other services, and goes beyond field-specific databases such as PubMed.

Of course, scite goes beyond metadata in a number of ways. Most prominently, we scour the web for open access papers and have indexing agreements with most major publishers, giving us access to citations in both open- and closed-access papers. This data - citations extracted from scholarly papers - forms the backbone of our core product, citation reports. It also allows us to generate dashboards, compute the scite index for journals and organizations, and perform full-text searches of citations.

Scite also enriches publication metadata in a number of additional ways. First, we compile data from partner organizations such as OurResearch to include author affiliations, funder and journal data, subject area data, and more. We also have internally-developed tools that detect notices to published works and identify self-citations, where possible. These are features which may appear in one way or another on other platforms, but are implemented on scite with the needs of individual researchers in mind.

So, what does scite’s coverage look like? At the time of this writing (you can always go here to find updated numbers), scite has records on over 175 million publications, and has ingested the full text of over 33 million scholarly articles. From these articles we have extracted 1.8 billion citation statements, making scite the world’s largest citation database.