Discrepancies among Scopus, Web of Science, and PubMed coverage of funding information in medical journal articles


  • Peter Kokol Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Maribor, Smetanova ulica 17, 2000 Maribor
  • Helena Blažun Vošner Faculty of Health Sciences, Center for International Cooperation, University of Maribor, Žitna ulica 15, 2000 Maribor




Journal as Topics, Medicine, Research Funding, Bibliometrics, Funding Acknowledgment, Funding Patterns


Objective: The overall aim of the present study was to compare the coverage of existing research funding information for articles indexed in Scopus, Web of Science, and PubMed databases.

Methods: The numbers of articles with funding information published in 2015 were identified in the three selected databases and compared using bibliometric analysis of a sample of twenty-eight prestigious medical journals.

Results: Frequency analysis of the number of articles with funding information showed statistically significant differences between Scopus, Web of Science, and PubMed databases. The largest proportion of articles with funding information was found in Web of Science (29.0%), followed by PubMed (14.6%) and Scopus (7.7%).

Conclusion: The results show that coverage of funding information differs significantly among Scopus, Web of Science, and PubMed databases in a sample of the same medical journals. Moreover, we found that, currently, funding data in PubMed is more difficult to obtain and analyze compared with that in the other two databases.

 This article has been approved for the Medical Library Association’s Independent Reading Program.


Jowkar A, Gazni FD. The effect of funding on academic research impact: a case study of Iranian publications. Aslib Proceeding. 2011;63(6):593–602.

Garcia CE, Sanz-Menéndez L. Competition for funding as an indicator of research competitiveness. Scientometrics. 2005 Aug 1;64(3):271–300.

Zhao D. Characteristics and impact of grant-funded research: a case study of the library. Scientometrics. 2010 Aug;84(2):293–306.

Bornmann L, Van den Besselaar PLL. A meta-evaluation of scientific research proposals: different ways of comparing rejected to awarded applications. J Informetr. 2010 Jul;4(3):211–20.

Boyack KW. Mapping knowledge domains: characterizing PNAS. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Apr 6;101(supp 1):5192–9.

Wang J, Shapira P. Is there a relationship between research sponsorship and publication impact? an analysis of funding acknowledgments in nanotechnology papers. PLOS ONE. 2015 Feb 19;10(2):e0117727.

European Commision. ERC-EuropePMC-2-2014 report summary [Internet]. Community Research and Development Information Service [cited 25 Jan 2014]. <http://cordis.europa.eu/result/rcn/186297_en.html>.

Grassano N, Rotolo D, Hutton J, Lang F, Hopkins MM. Funding data from publication acknowledgements: coverage, uses and limitations. J Assoc Inf Sci Technol. 2016;37.

Blume-Kohout ME, Kumar KB, Sood N. Federal life sciences funding and university R&D [Internet]. Report no.: 15146. National Bureau of Economic Research; Jul 2009 [cited 6 May 2017]. <http://www.nber.org/papers/w15146>.

Wang J, Shapira P. Funding acknowledgement analysis: an enhanced tool to investigate research sponsorship impacts: the case of nanotechnology. Scientometrics. 2011 Jun 1;87(3):563–86.

Rigby J. Systematic grant and funding body acknowledgement data for publications: new dimensions and new controversies for research policy and evaluation. Res Eval. 2011 Dec;20(5):365.

Tang L, Hu G, Liu W. Funding acknowledgment analysis: queries and caveats. J Assoc Inf Sci Technol. 2017 Mar;68(3)790–4.

Clarivate Analytics. Funding acknowledgements [Internet]. Clarivate [cited 6 May 2017]. <http://wokinfo.com/products_tools/multidisciplinary/webofscience/fundingsearch/>.

Paul-Hus A, Desrochers N, Costas R. Characterization, description, and considerations for the use of funding acknowledgement data in Web of Science. Scientometrics. 2016 Jul;108(1):167–82.






Surveys and Studies