Skip to main content

Elsevier Developer Portal

Scopus Affiliation Search Guide

Search Language


AFFILIATION Search API supports a Boolean syntax, which is a type of search allowing users to combine keywords with operators such as AND, NOT and OR to further produce more relevant results. For example, a Boolean search could be "heart" AND "brain". This would limit the search results to only those documents containing the two keywords. However, unlike searches against documents, AFFILIATION searches are limited to a specific set of fields.

URL encoding


The Boolean search is submitted through the query string parameter 'query'. As with all other query string parameters, the contents of the submitted search must be URL-encoded. It should be noted that the '+' character serves a special purpose as a query string value, functioning as an equivalent to the space character (i.e. %20). In order to submit a literal character '+' it must be properly URL-encoded (i.e. %2B).

This search...

must be URL-encoded as:

KEY(mouse AND NOT cat OR dog)


KEY(cat AND dog AND NOT rodent OR mouse)



Using boolean operators


You can use Boolean operators (AND, OR, AND NOT) in your search. If you use more than one operator in your search, Affiliation Search API interprets your search according to the order of precedence.



Finds only those documents that contain all of the terms.

Use AND when all the terms must appear and may be far apart from each other. 


lesion AND pancreatic



If you are searching for a phrase which contains the word "and," omit the word "and" from your search. For example:profit loss finds the phrase "profit and loss"


Finds affiliations that contain any of the terms.

Use OR when at least one of the terms must appear (such as synonyms, alternate spellings, or abbreviations).


kidney OR renal


Excludes affiliations that include the specified term from the search.

Use AND NOT to exclude specific terms. This connector must be used at the end of a search. 


ganglia OR tumor AND NOT malignant



- If you want to search for the words or, and, or and not literally, enter them in double quotation marks: "and", "or", "and not".

-  If you enter more than one word or phrase in the same text box without using an operator, AND is assumed.


Order of precedence rules

Searches with multiple operators are processed in the following order:

1.     OR

2.     AND

3.     AND NOT

After the precedence rules are applied, the search is read left to right.


All these searches...

are processed as...

KEY (mouse OR rat AND rodent)

KEY (rodent AND rat OR mouse)

KEY (rat OR mouse AND rodent)

KEY(mouse OR rat) AND rodent


This search...

is processed as...

KEY (mouse AND NOT cat OR dog)

KEY (cat AND dog AND NOT rodent OR mouse)

KEY((mouse) AND NOT (cat OR dog))

KEY((cat AND dog) AND NOT (rodent OR mouse))



AND NOT can give unexpected results when you have multiple operators. We recommend that you put it at the end of your searches.

For example, the following searches return a large number of results:

-         KEY(cold) AND NOT KEY(influenza)

-        KEY(cold) AND NOT KEY(influenza) AND KEY(rhinovirus)

-        KEY(cold) AND NOT (KEY(influenza) AND KEY(rhinovirus))

To exclude influenza from your search, you should use the following search instead:

KEY(cold) AND KEY(rhinovirus) AND NOT KEY(influenza)


Use wildcard characters to search for variations of a word, making your search shorter and simpler. Multiple wildcard characters can be used.


Use this wildcard...

To do this...

Question Mark (?)

Replace a single character anywhere in a word. Use one question mark for each character you want to replace.


AFFIL(nure?berg) finds Nuremberg, Nurenberg

Asterisk (*)

Replace multiple characters anywhere in a word.


behav* finds behave, behavior, behaviour, behavioural, behaviourism, etc.

The asterisk replaces 0 or more characters, so it can be used to find any number or to indicate a character that may or may not be present.


*tocopherol finds α-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol , δ-tocopherol, tocopherol, tocopherols, etc.



Affiliation Search API finds variant spellings and matches Greek characters and their common American/British English variant spellings.


Affiliation Searching

Use Affiliation search to search the preferred name of an organization, any variant names matched by the Affiliation Identifier, the organization's city, or the organization's country. All of your search terms must be included in one of these fields (preferred name, variant name, city, or country) for a match to be found.



Enter affil(psychology toronto) to search for results where psychology and toronto are in the Preferred Name, Variant Name, City, or Country field.

The following affiliations would be retrieved:

         Preferred Name: University of Toronto, Department of Psychology

         Preferred Name: Toronto Institute of Psychology

The following affiliations would not be retrieved:

         Preferred Name: York University, Department of Psychology

City: Toronto

         Preferred Name: Department of Psychology

Variant Name: University of Toronto


         Use wildcards and Boolean operators in your search.

         You can enter accented characters in the search.



You could enter Técnicas or Tecnicas for your search. Searching for Tecnicas returns results for e as well as .


         If you know the unique affiliation identifier number for a particular affiliation, you can search for documents associated with that affiliation using the AF-ID (AFFIL) field.


To find affiliations where your search terms occur in the same affiliation, use:
AFFIL(london and hospital)

To find affiliations where both terms appear in a document's affiliation, but not necessarily in the same affiliation, use:
AFFIL(london) and AFFIL (hospital)




Affiliation searches only return document fields and not affiliation details. Use the response field prism:url in order to retrieve the Affiliation details.

Affiliation Identification

The Affiliation Identifier distinguishes among affiliations that have similar names by assigning each affiliation a unique number and grouping together all of the documents affiliated with an organization.

This feature is especially useful for distinguishing between institutions or departments that have the same department names such as the Department of Physics.

Additionally, Scopus distinguishes between affiliations that are formatted differently in publications. For example, the same department could appear in a document affiliation as Dept. of Genetics; in another as Department of Genetics; and in another as Genetics Department. Scopus Affiliation Identifier matches the documents from a single organization even if the organization is cited differently.



Documents can only be assigned to organizations if the document's citation has sufficient information. For example, if a document is missing or has inaccurate affiliation information, linking it to the appropriate organization is not possible. Individual organizations appear separately on the Make Affiliation Selection page but can be included when you view documents.


Field Restriction


You can search for a term in a specific field by entering the field name in your search:

field_name (search term)



- The search AFFIL(unversity) returns affiliations where the terms appear in the affiliation preferred name, preferred parent name, name variants, city, or country.

- The search AF-ID(3000604)returns the affiliation associated with the unique identifier provided.



- A limited number of field names are available in Affiliation Search API.

- Enter field names in upper or lower case.

- Make sure to use the correct field name spelling, including hyphens.

- Not all affiliations contain all fields. Searching specific fields may prevent some articles from appearing in your search results.







Affiliation ID

A unique identification number assigned to organizations affiliated with Scopus affiliations.


-         You cannot search using just the affiliation name. For example entering AF-ID("Harvard Medical School") would not result in a match.

AF-ID("Harvard Medical School" 3000604) or AF-ID(3000604) returns affiliations with Harvard Medical School and variants of that name stored in Scopus.




When searching the AFFIL field, you can specify if you want all of your search terms to be found in the same affiliation.

AFFIL is a combined field that searches the following affiliation attributes: preferred name, preferred parent name, name variant, city, and country.

- To find affiliations where your search terms occur in the same affiliation, use:
AFFIL(london and hospital)

- To find affiliations where both terms appear in a affiliation, but not necessarily in the same affiliation, use:
AFFIL (london) and AFFIL (hospital)