Skip to content Skip to footer

VOSviewer visualization guide

To download and run VOSviewer, take the following steps:

  • Open VOSviewer download page here, or
  • Directly download VOSviewer 1.6.20 from here (latest version October 31, 2023, ZIP file, Windows)
  • Create a new folder and unpack the downloaded ZIP file in this folder.
  • On Microsoft Windows systems, run the VOSviewer Windows application. On macOS systems, run the VOSviewer macOS application. On other systems, run the VOSviewer JAR file.

To run VOSviewer, Java version 8 or higher needs to be installed on your system. If Java is not installed on your system, you can obtain it here.


Extract downloaded VOSviewer installation file:


Find VOSviewer executable application file and send it to the Desktop:

Gaining access to Scopus

  1. Go to UNS EZproxy website
  2. Select Scopus
  3. Log in with UNS Staff or Student SSO account


Obtaining the metadata for visualization

Documents include journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, articles in press and data papers. Follow the steps below to learn how to perform a basic document search:

  • Enter your search terms into the Search documents box [1]
    • By default, Scopus will search in the Article title, Abstract and Keywords of documents
  • You can specify in which fields to search using the drop-down menu [2]
  • Use the +Add search field [3] option to add additional fields
  • Each new search field is combined using the Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT [4]
  • Select Add date range [5] to either select a publication date range or to specify an “added to Scopus” date range
  • To see a complete list of advanced field codes, select Advanced document search [6]
  • Your Search History is displayed with the option to Set Alert [7] to notify you by email of new search results in Scopus that match that search
  • Select More [8] to save an important query or to delete a query
  • To combine queries from your history, choose two or more searches and select Combine queries [9]


Editing your search, saving your search and setting alerts

  • Saving your search and setting up alerts [1]
  • Quickly review or edit your search from the top of the page [2]
  • By default, the search results are sorted by date. Use the ‘Sort by’ drop-down menu to sort in a different order. [3]
  • Refine your results [4] From the left-hand menu, you can:

    • Search within your results
    • Use filters to limit or exclude results from your search, including, but not limited to:
      • Author name
      • Open Access type (learn more about the Open Access filter below)
      • Year
      • Subject area
      • Publication stage
      • Keyword
      • Affiliation
      • Funding sponsor


Export selected search results [5] to various file types, reference managers and platforms:

  • Mendeley
  • RefWorks
  • SciVal
  • RIS format (for import into EndNote
  • CSV
  • BibTeX
  • Plain Text



Source for this guide is retrieved from: Scopus LibGuides

In order for VOSviewer to visualize the desired information, we need to select the Scopus fields carefully.

Minimum checked Scopus’ field for VosViewer visualization are: Author(s), Author keywords, Affiliations, Indexed keywords, OR Include references.

Below are some examples of correlation between selected Scopus’ fields and activated type and unit of analysis in VOSviewer. Please pay attention that NOT all possibilities are listed below.

Each individual field chosen from Scopus metadata export will affect certain options available on VosViewer.

For example, if “Affiliations” field in Scopus is checked, then “Countries” and “Organizations” option button will appear in VOSviewer.



Obtaining the metadata for visualization in Pubmed

Beside Scopus, Pubmed also provides a menu for exporting metadata. This makes it easier for us to visualize. The steps are as follows

  • After you have the desired query results, click on Save button



  • On the Selection field, you may choose one of the available option: All results, All results on this page, or Selection
  • To create VOSviewer visualization, on the Format field, you should choose Pubmed
  • Click Create file


Complete PubMed user guide is available here

Follow these steps to create visualization

Alternatively, if you have PubMed data source, you should select PubMed tab

There are at least two ways in interpreting VOSviewer visualization/map, i.e.

  1. Directly reading and interpreting the map, or
  2. Comparing two or more maps.

Below are examples of VOSviewer visualization and guidance for easily interpreting the map.

Direct interpretation

Network visualization


Overlay visualization


Density visualization

Interpreting by comparing

Dataset A Dataset B
Novelty and research gap
Research hotspot
Research trend

Read more detailed VOSviewer visualization guide from Dr. Nanang Wiyono, M.Kes.
1. Analisis Bibliometrik-Pendahuluan-SBF UNS- 2024
2. Database dan Metadata dari Scopus_SBF UNS-2024
3. Analisis bibliometric dengan Vosviewer-SBF UNS- 2024

UNS Library bibliometrics analysis web page, click here

For further information regarding this topic, please kindly contact our librarian Tri Hardian S. (