This function sends a query to the Web Of Science Lite API ( and returns references that match this query.

To learn how to write a WOS query, users can read the WOS documentation available at: A list of WOS field tags is available at:

It's strongly recommended to use the function wos_search before to have an idea on how many records you will download.

Important: Due to WOS LITE API limitations, the total number of records cannot exceed 100,000.

wos_get_records(query, database = "WOS", limit = NULL, sleep = 1)



a character of length 1. The query to send to the WOS lite API. Visit the WOS documentation at: on how to write a WOS query.


a character of length 1. One among BCI (BIOSIS Citation Index), BIOABS (Biological Abstracts), BIOSIS (BIOSIS Previews), CCC (Current Contents Connect), DCI (Data Citation Index), DIIDW (Derwent Innovations Index), MEDLINE (Medline), WOS (Web of Science Core Collection), ZOOREC (Zoological Record), and WOK (all databases). Default is WOS (all databases).


an numeric of length 1. The number of records to retrieve. Must be < 100,000 (API limit). Default is NULL (all possible records will be retrieved).


an numeric of length 1. To not stress the WOS LITE API, a random number between 0 and sleep will be picked to suspend queries.


A data.frame with n rows (where n is the total number of references) and the following 21 variables: ut: the unique identifier of the reference in the Web of Science system; doc_type: the document type; title: the title of the reference; authors: the authors of the reference; book_authors: the book authors (if applicable); book_group_authors: the book group authors (if applicable); keywords: the authors keywords; source: the title of the source (journal, book, etc.) in which the reference was published; volume: the volume number; issue: the issue number; pages: the pages range in the source; no_article: the article number; published_date: the published date; published_year: the published year; supplement_number: the supplement number (if applicable); special_issue: SI in case of a special issue (if applicable); book_series_title: the book series title (if applicable); doi: the Digital Object Identifier; eissn: the Electronic International Standard Identifier Number; issn: the International Standard Identifier Number; isbn: International Standard Book Number.


if (FALSE) {
## Download references of one author ----
query <- "AU=(\"Casajus N\")"
refs <- wos_get_records(query)
refs <- wos_get_records(query, limit = 1)