Getting the whole story

On the coverage of historical journals in Web of Science and Scopus


  • Kydra Mayhew Dalhousie University
  • Maria Henkel Dept. of Information Science, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Geoff Krause Dalhousie University
  • Lara Morrison Dalhousie University
  • Courtney Svab Dalhousie University
  • Philippe Mongeon School of Information Management, Dalhousie University



historical research, history, bibliometrics, representation


Historical research involves the construction of competing narratives around complex historical events. Getting the whole story requires having access to these narratives, which can be a challenge when the coverage of historical research in widely used databases is incomplete or biased. This paper investigates to what extent journals indexed in two historical research databases, namely Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life, are covered by the Web of Science and Scopus, as well as the national and linguistic biases in that coverage. Results show a much higher coverage of historical research in Web of Science than Scopus. However, both databases disproportionately favour indexing English language journals and journals published in the United States and the United Kingdom. That raises questions about how these imbalances in journal coverage may lead to biases in the narratives to which readers are exposed when they limit their sources to those included in large, multidisciplinary databases.




How to Cite

Mayhew, K., Henkel, M. ., Krause, G. ., Morrison, L., Svab, C., & Mongeon, P. (2022). Getting the whole story: On the coverage of historical journals in Web of Science and Scopus . Proceedings of the Annual Conference of CAIS Actes Du congrès Annuel De l’ACSI.



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