A matter of time: publication dates in Web of Science Core Collection

09/14/2020 ∙ by Weishu Liu, et al. ∙ 0

Web of Science Core Collection, one of the most authoritative bibliographic databases, is widely used in academia to track high-quality research. This database has begun to index online-first articles since December 2017. This new practice has introduced two different publication dates (online and final publication dates) into the database for more and more early access publications. It may confuse many users who want to search or analyze literature by using the publication-year related tools provided by Web of Science Core Collection. By developing custom retrieval strategies and checking manually, this study finds that the "year published" field in search page searches in both online and final publication date fields of indexed records. Each indexed record is allocated to only one "publication year" on the left of the search results page which will inherit first from online publication date field even when the online publication date is later than the final publication date. The "publication year" field in the results analysis page and the timespan "custom year range" field in the search page have the same function as that of the filter "publication year" in search results page. The potential impact of the availability of two different publication dates in calculating bibliometric indicators is also discussed at the end of the article.



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