An R package to scrape meta-data from scientific articles hosted on Scielo
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rScielo provides a set of functions to scrape meta-data from scientific articles hosted on the Scientific Electronic Library Online Platform ( The meta-data information includes authors' names, articles' titles, year of the publication, among others. The package also provides additional functions to summarize the scrapped data.

How does it work?

Getting a journal's ID

The rScielo package scrapes data based on a journal ID (or pid). For example, consider the link to the Brazilian Political Science Review homepage on Scielo:

The ID is located between &pid= and &lng (i.e., 1981-3821). Most of rScielo functions depend on this argument. To automatically extract an ID from a journal hosted on Scielo, you may also use the get_id_journal() function:

#> [1] "1981-3821"

Scraping data

To scrape meta-data from all articles of a journal hosted on Scielo, use the get_journal() function:

df <- get_journal("1981-3821")

Then summarize the scrapped data with summary:

#> ### JOURNAL SUMMARY: Brazilian Political Science Review (2012 - 2016)
#>  Total number of articles:  98 
#>  Total number of articles (reviews excluded):  67
#>  Mean number of authors per article:  1.61 
#>  Mean number of pages per article:  29.38

The rScielo package also provides a function to scrape meta-data from a single article:

# The article's URL on Scielo
url <- ""

# Scrape the data
article <- get_article(url)

Finally, get_journal_info() and get_journal_list() scrapes a journal's meta-information (publisher, ISSN, and mission) and a list of all journals hosted on Scielo, respectively:

# Get a journal's meta-information
meta_info <- get_journal_info("1981-3821")

# Get a list with all journals names, URLs and IDs
journals <- get_journal_list()

Scraping metrics

With the rScielo, it is possible to scrape several publication and citation metrics of a journal hosted on Scielo:

# Gets citation metrics
cit <- get_journal_metrics("1981-3821")

# Plots the data for a quick visualization


Here is a description of the rScielo functions:

  • get_id_journal(): Gets a journal's ID from its url.
  • get_journal(): Gets meta-data from all articles published by a journal.
  • get_article(): Gets meta-data from a single article.
  • get_journal_info(): Gets a journal's description.
  • get_journal_list(): Gets a list with all journals' names, URLs and ID's.
  • get_journal_metrics(): Gets publication and citation metrics of a journal.


Install the latest stable release from CRAN via:


Alternatively, install the latest pre-release version from GitHub via:

if (!require("devtools")) install.packages("devtools")


Fernando Meireles


GPL (>= 2)