A Look at German Literature Classics in the Web of Science Core Collection

The Web of Science™ Core Collection indexes every article in more than 12,000 journals, with the total number of records now exceeding 60 million. At the same time, we index every cited reference in those articles, and that number is already well above 1 billion references.

Within the Core Collection, we can follow a citation by manually searching those cited references, which also allows us to evaluate the impact of documents not even indexed by the Web of Science Core Collection – a doctoral dissertation, for example, or literary classics such as Dante's Divine Comedy. To further illustrate this capability, let’s take a look at how some classics of German literature, and their authors, have been cited in Web of Science.

Masterpiece ranking
1. Buddenbrooks, Thomas Mann (1901) – 287 citations

2. The Sorrows of Young Werther/Die Leiden des jungen Werthers, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1774) – 207 citations to English title; 1 citation to German title

3. The Tin Drum/Die Blechtrommel, Gunther Grass (1959) – 167 citations

4. Death in Venice/Der Tod in Venedig, Thomas Mann (1912) – 165 citations to English title; 5 citations to German title

5. All Quiet on The Western Front/ Im Westen nichts Neues, Erich Maria Remarque (1929) – 110 citations to English title; 26 citations to German title

6. Siddhartha, Herman Hesse (1922) – 105 citations

7. The Glass Bead Game/Das Glasperlenspiel, Herman Hesse (1943) – 65 citations

8. Simplicius Simplicissimus, Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen (1668) – 33 citations

9. Berlin Alexanderplatz, Alfred Döblin (1929) – 28 citations

10. The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum/ Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum, Heinrich Böll (1974) – 1 citation


Overall author ranking, by total citations:

1. Gunther Grass – 1,674 citations

2. Thomas Mann – 1,465 citations

3. Herman Hesse – 1,345 citations

4. Johann Goethe – 1,305 citations

5. Heinrich. Böll – 202 citations

6. Erich Maria Remarque – 117 citations

7. Alfred Döblin – 58 citations

8. Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen – 40 citations

The Web of Science is built on the foundation of over 1 billion cited references, individually and meticulously indexed to create a searchable database of citations – a unique resource. As we’ve done here with our German classic literature, you can follow references to every dissertation, author, letter, item of artwork, and book that was ever cited in a publication indexed in Web of Science. In this way, Web of Science provides a truly comprehensive view of scientific and scholarly impact.