AffiliationSearch() implements the Affiliation Search API. It performs a query to search for affiliations and then retrieves the records of the query.

Table of Contents


class pybliometrics.scopus.AffiliationSearch(query, refresh=False, verbose=False, download=True, integrity_fields=None, integrity_action='raise', count=200, **kwds)[source]

Interaction with the Affiliation Search API.

  • query (str) – A string of the query. For allowed fields and values see

  • refresh (Union[bool, int], optional) – Whether to refresh the cached file if it exists or not. If int is passed, cached file will be refreshed if the number of days since last modification exceeds that value.

    Default: False

  • verbose (bool, optional) – Whether to print a download progress bar.

    Default: False

  • download (bool, optional) – Whether to download results (if they have not been cached).

    Default: True

  • integrity_fields (Union[List[str], Tuple[str, …], None], optional) – Names of fields whose completeness should be checked. AffiliationSearch will perform the action specified in integrity_action if elements in these fields are missing. This helps avoiding idiosynchratically missing elements that should always be present (e.g. EID or name).

    Default: None

  • integrity_action (str, optional) – What to do in case integrity of provided fields cannot be verified. Possible actions: - “raise”: Raise an AttributeError - “warn”: Raise a UserWarning

    Default: 'raise'

  • count (int, optional) – (deprecated) The number of entries to be displayed at once. A smaller number means more queries with each query having fewer results.

    Default: 200

  • kwds – Keywords passed on as query parameters. Must contain fields and values mentioned in the API specification at

  • ScopusQueryError – If the number of search results exceeds 5000, which is the API’s maximum number of results returned. The error prevents the download attempt and avoids making use of your API key.

  • ValueError – If any of the parameters integrity_action or refresh is not one of the allowed values.

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The directory for cached results is {path}/STANDARD/{fname}, where path is specified in your configuration file and fname is the md5-hashed version of query.

property affiliations

A list of namedtuples storing affiliation information, where each namedtuple corresponds to one affiliation. The information in each namedtuple is (eid name variant documents city country parent).

All entries are strings or None. Field “variant” combines variants of names with a semicolon.


ValueError – If the elements provided in integrity_fields do not match the actual field names (listed above).


Return the age of the cached file in days.

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Return the modification date of the cached file.

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Return number of remaining requests for the current key and the current API (relative on last actual request).

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Return time when current key is reset (relative on last actual request).

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Return the number of results (works even if download=False).

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The class is initialized with a search query which you can read about in Affiliation Search Guide. An invalid search query will result in an error.

>>> from pybliometrics.scopus import AffiliationSearch
>>> query = "AFFIL(Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition Munich)"
>>> s = AffiliationSearch(query)

You can obtain a search summary just by printing the object:

>>> print(s)
Search 'AFFIL(Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition Munich)' yielded
2 affiliations as of 2021-01-15:
    Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
    Max Planck Institute for Competition and Innovation

The class mostly serves to provide a list of namedtuples storing information about the affiliation. One of them is the affiliation ID which you can use for the AffiliationRetrieval class:

>>> s.affiliations
[Affiliation(eid='10-s2.0-60105007', name='Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition',
             variant='Max Planck Institute For Innovation And Competition', documents=380,
             city='Munich', country='Germany', parent='0'),
 Affiliation(eid='10-s2.0-117495104', name='Max Planck Institute for Competition and Innovation',
             variant='Max-plank Institut', documents=3, city='Munich', country='Germany',

It’s easy to work with namedtuples: using pandas for example you can quickly turn the results into a DataFrame:

>>> import pandas as pd
>>> pd.set_option('display.max_columns', None)
>>> print(pd.DataFrame(s.affiliations))
                 eid                                               name  \
0   10-s2.0-60105007  Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Compet...
1  10-s2.0-117495104  Max Planck Institute for Competition and Innov...

                                             variant  documents    city  \
0  Max Planck Institute For Innovation And Compet...        380  Munich
1                                 Max-plank Institut          3  Munich

   country parent
0  Germany      0
1  Germany      0

As you can see from comparison of the EIDs, the first affiliation starts with 10-s2.0-6, the other with 10-s2.0-1. The latter denotes a non-org affiliation type. More on different types of affiliations in section tips.

Downloaded results are cached to speed up subsequent analysis. This information may become outdated. To refresh the cached results if they exist, set refresh=True, or provide an integer that will be interpreted as maximum allowed number of days since the last modification date. For example, if you want to refresh all cached results older than 100 days, set refresh=100. Use s.get_cache_file_mdate() to get the date of last modification, and s.get_cache_file_age() the number of days since the last modification.

You can get the number of results using the .get_results_size() method, even before you download the results:

>>> query = "AFFIL(Max Planck Institute)"
>>> s = AffiliationSearch(query, download=False)
>>> s.get_results_size()

There are sometimes missing information in the returned results although it exists in the Scopus database. For example, the EID may be missing, even though every element always has an EID. This is not a bug of pybliometrics. Instead it is somehow related to a problem in the download process from the Scopus database. To check for completeness of specific fields, use parameter integrity_fields, which accepts any iterable. Using parameter integrity_action you can choose between two actions on what to do if the integrity check fails: Set integrity_action=”warn” to issue a UserWarning, or set integrity_action=”raise” to raise an AttributeError.

>>> s = AffiliationSearch(query, integrity_fields=["eid"], integrity_action="warn")

Often you receive more search results than Scopus allows. Currently the cap is at 5000 results. In this case the only solution is to narrow down the research, i.e. instead of “affil(‘Harvard Medical School’)” you search for “affil(‘Harvard Medical School Boston’)”.