WoS query partitioner: A tool to retrieve very large numbers of items from the Web of Science using different source-based partitioning approaches



Thomson Reuters' Web of Science (WoS) is undoubtedly a great tool for scientiometrics purposes. It allows one to retrieve and compute different measures such as the total number of papers that satisfy a particular condition; however, it also is well known that this tool imposes several different restrictions that make obtaining certain results difficult. One of those constraints is that the tool does not offer the total count of documents in a dataset if it is larger than 100,000 items. In this article, we propose and analyze different approaches that involve partitioning the search space (using the Source field) to retrieve item counts for very large datasets from the WoS. The proposed techniques improve previous approaches: They do not need any extra information about the retrieved dataset (thus allowing completely automatic procedures to retrieve the results), they are designed to avoid many of the restrictions imposed by the WoS, and they can be easily applied to almost any query. Finally, a description of WoS Query Partitioner, a freely available and online interactive tool that implements those techniques, is presented.