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Full-Length Paper

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Objectives: Compare journal coverage of abstract and indexing tools commonly used within academic science and engineering research.

Methods: Title lists of Compendex, Inspec, Reaxys, SciFinder, and Web of Science were provided by their respective publishers. These lists were imported into Excel and the overlap of the ISSN/EISSNs and journal titles was determined using the VLOOKUP command, which determines if the value in one cell can be found in a column of other cells.

Results: There is substantial overlap between the Web of Science’s Science Citation Index Expanded and the Emerging Sources Citation Index, the largest database with 17,014 titles, and Compendex (63.6%), Inspec (71.0%), Reaxys (67.0%), and SciFinder (75.8%). SciFinder also overlaps heavily with Reaxys (75.9%). Web of Science and Compendex combined contain 77.6% of the titles within Inspec.

Conclusion: Flat or decreasing library budgets combined with increasing journal prices result in an unsustainable system that will require a calculated allocation of resources at many institutions. The overlap of commonly indexed journals among abstracting and indexing tools could serve as one way to determine how these resources should be allocated.


abstracting, indexing, database comparison, overlap, open science, resource management, library budgets

Data Availability

The data are available on the Open Science Framework (https://osf.io/eu573): DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/EU573

File descriptions are on the OSF wiki page (https://osf.io/eu573/wiki/home).


The authors have no funding sources to acknowledge.

Corresponding Author

Joshua Borycz, Vanderbilt University, Sarah Shannon Stevenson Science and Engineering Library, 419 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212; joshua.borycz@vanderbilt.edu

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© 2021 Borycz, Carroll & Eskridge. This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

1192-supplementary-Table1.pdf (57 kB)
Table S1: Summary of overlap comparisons with the entire WOS Core Collection.