Skip to Main Content
Go to Penn Libraries homepage   Go to Guides homepage

Research Impact and Citation Analysis

Discover Potential Collaborators

Limitations  |  Discover Potential Penn Collaborators by Interest


No one database indexes all researchers.

Just as no database contains all scholarly and popular publications, the same goes for networks of researchers. This tutorial looks at Scopus's Researcher Discovery tool, which will only look at researches indexed in Scopus, historically a database with strengths in STEM disciplines. If a researcher primarily publishes outside of traditional scholarly journals -- say, emerging scholars, or researchers experimenting with new media and forms of digital scholarship -- this scholar may not be in Scopus. For those looking for other Penn collaborators, keep an eye on local news sources, such as Penn Today, the Daily Pennsylvanian, and newsletters and websites from departments and research centers.


The Researcher Discovery tool in Scopus is currently date-limited

As of summer 2023, Scopus’s Researcher Discovery pilot is limited to documents published since 2017, in order to foster connections between scholars based on recent interests. At the same time, Scopus is not including preprints in Researcher Discovery, which eliminates nascent scholar interests from appearing in the results.


Databases prioritize publication types differently

Scopus is an abstract and citation database. It grabs citations from a long list of journals, books in a series, preprints, and more. But Scopus is not strong at indexing monographs – standalone books. This means that disciplines in which the monograph is still a main publication type may not be well-suited to working in Scopus – including many humanities-based disciplines.

A way to circumvent this is to use a relevant database from a given field, do a keyword search, limit by date if desired, and also search for “University of Pennsylvania” in an affiliation field, if available. If not available, “University of Pennsylvania” could still be searched in the metadata and cross-referenced in resulting text. For example, in the database America: History and Life, a search for “social security” AND “University of Pennsylvania” still picks up some relevant results with Penn authors.

Discover Potential Penn Collaborators by Interest

This tutorial uses Scopus to help Penn scholars find other researchers with common interests at their own institution. 


Step 1: Researcher Discovery tab in Scopus

Access Scopus and click on the Researcher Discovery tab. Enter a topic of interest. For our example, we will be using “mrna vaccine”.

Scopus homepage with Researcher Discovery tab selected. keywords "mrna vaccine" are entered into search box


Step 2: Limit results to Penn researchers

On the results screen, scroll down and locate the Organizations limit on the left. Search for University of Pennsylvania, and click on the correct option. Check off the box for University of Pennsylvania, and other sub-organizations if desired, such as “University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.”

Results of mrna search is a list of researchers. Filters for University of Pennsylvania and University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine are checked off.


Step 3: Explore researchers

You are now free to browse the resulting researchers at Penn. Click on Preview profile under various authors to get a sense of their years of experience and core contributed topics.

Author profile for Mohamad Gabriel Alameh listing school affiliation, years of research, year of latest matching document, and more options

Penn Libraries Home Franklin Home
(215) 898-7555