Getting Started

To get started with VOSviewer, you may want to take a look at some of the sources of information listed below.

VOSviewer manual

The VOSviewer manual provides detailed and up-to-date information on the functionality of VOSviewer. The manual can also be accessed using the Manual button in VOSviewer.

Open VOSviewer manual


VOSviewer book chapter

VOSviewer is discussed in detail in a recent book chapter. The chapter provides a tutorial in which the use of VOSviewer is demonstrated in a step-by-step manner. The chapter is based on VOSviewer version 1.5.5. Some of the improvements and extensions introduced in the most recent versions of VOSviewer are therefore not covered in the chapter. In addition to VOSviewer, the chapter also discusses the CitNetExplorer tool for visualizing and analyzing citation networks of publications.

Open VOSviewer book chapter

VOSviewer paper

VOSviewer was originally introduced in a paper published in Scientometrics in 2010. In the meantime, VOSviewer has been improved and extended in many ways, so the paper is not fully up-to-date anymore. However, it still provides a useful introduction into the main ideas underlying VOSviewer.

Open VOSviewer paper

AIDA bookletAIDA booklet

The AIDA booklet introduces diverse case studies on research positioning and trend identification. These case studies are relevant for PhD candidates, researchers, group leaders, and policy makers. Many of the case studies make use of VOSviewer.

Open AIDA booklet


Mandatory fields
  • Zhao Xin July 11th, 2024 4:10 am
  • Pajaree Ackaradejruangsri July 9th, 2024 6:23 am
    Hi, I am now learning how to use VOSviewer for systematic literature review, but I encounter some issues. I download cvs file from Web of Science and remove the funding information already, but when I upload the cvs file on VOSviewer, I received an error message "cannot find author (AF/AU), address (C1), cited reference (CR), author keyword (DE), or Keyword plus (ID) field”.
    Could you please help?
  • Prista Nurmazidah July 6th, 2024 7:24 am
  • sylvia setubal July 3rd, 2024 1:16 pm
    sou aluna do doutorado em Ciencias do Ambiente pela UFT
  • sylvia setubal July 3rd, 2024 1:11 pm
    sou aluna do doutorado em Ciencias do Ambiente pela UFT
  • Anna Wilner June 25th, 2024 11:22 am
    Hi, I'm helping a researcher with Vosviewer. She wants to get a list in csv of the references with title, author, journal, year etc. of the clusters she has produced. We try, but only succeed in getting out what is visible in the cluster, eg authors, in a text file. Is there a way to get a list of all information about the references in a cluster?
    Thanks in advance!
  • claudia serpa June 19th, 2024 4:11 pm
    i can t to install software into my computer. Please help me
  • khoirul mubin June 17th, 2024 5:01 am
  • SHEILA June 16th, 2024 11:36 pm
  • ARVI June 2nd, 2024 1:30 pm
    How to analyze merged data of web of science and Scopus database on VOS Viewer, Finding error on uploading merged data file extracted from R-Biblioshiny.
  • alim June 2nd, 2024 7:07 am
    I just find a great tool for doing journal review
    thank you VOSviewer
  • Merging data from WoS and Scopus then remove duplicates to run on VOSViewer June 1st, 2024 11:23 am
    It seems that there're many youtube informations on how to merge data from WoS and Scopus removing duplicates in bibliometrix to run on biblioshiny. But there's no info. on how to do exact same thing in VOSViewer!!
    Can anyone help on this problem? any idea?
    thanks in advance.
  • Zilke Claessens May 28th, 2024 9:05 pm
    I tried to upload a RIS file from a library in Scopus. However, I keep getting an error that the file contains an incorrect number of columns. I have no idea how to solve this issue. I hope someone can help?
    • SonaFathi June 5th, 2024 9:27 pm
      I export file in csv format from scopus and did my analysis in vosviewer.
  • Charles Aaron Adams Ekuban May 28th, 2024 5:42 am
    Citations, bibliographic buttons become inactive when i upload my file for analysis.
    Help me
  • PARAISO Halile May 23rd, 2024 2:13 pm
    Errer while reading wef of science file ..... (line 1) : Multiple AU fields
    How to deal with this issue
  • Azwan MH April 29th, 2024 10:36 am
    I'm trying to open the AIDA booklet, but got this error page instead:
    Access Denied
  • SUNAM NANDI April 23rd, 2024 1:00 pm
    I installed version 1.6.20. Most features are locked and do not function! What should I do?
  • Myriam April 22nd, 2024 11:17 pm
    A good tool but it will be useful in spanish too.
  • Ying Wang April 22nd, 2024 7:49 am
  • Chandu Tadanki April 12th, 2024 7:54 pm
    (1) I am using scopus to create a map based on bibliographic data. (2) I have chosen "type of analsysis = Bibliogrpahic coupling", and "unit of analysis = Authors".
    Given this, what does "clustering" mean? What is the criteria used to assign an item (an author) to a cluster?
  • mustapha mustapha April 9th, 2024 5:14 pm
    I installed version 1.6.20. Most features are locked and do not function! What should I do?
  • Chris Hicks April 5th, 2024 6:29 pm
    I am working with the current version of EndNote, which does not support the export of .enw files. It can produce .enl files, .txt or .xml files. Please is it possible to import any of these formats in to VOSViewer.
    Many thanks,
  • Colab April 4th, 2024 8:30 am
    Just wondering If I could use VOSveiwer to visualize the already downloaded papers to see the relation between them. I have gathered those papers from different databases and want to visualize them in one plot.
  • Vickey March 22nd, 2024 10:44 pm
    10 Tell-Tale Signs You Need To Buy A UK Pornstar British porn Star
  • Valeria Reyes March 20th, 2024 4:52 pm
    Hi everyone! I'm trying to analyse a database from WOS however when I try to use it at VOSviewer I got this message "multiple AU fields". How can I solve it?
    • Laura April 8th, 2024 5:29 pm
      The same happens to me, could someone give us a solution?
    • SonaFathi June 5th, 2024 9:32 pm
      maybe you choose wrong file format while exporting. I use .txt and it works with out problem
  • Valeria March 14th, 2024 5:25 pm
    Hola a todos! Intento analizar una base de datos de WOS, sin embargo al ingresarla a vosviewer me sale el siguiente error "multiple AU fields". ¿Cómo lo resuelvo?
  • MOHAMED MOUSTAFA YOUSSEF March 10th, 2024 9:42 pm
    Thank you so much for your efforts
  • Marijane White March 1st, 2024 3:27 am
    Have the developers noticed that the red/green/blue columns in map files are being ignored in versions 1.6._19 and 1.6.20? I have tried to submit a message about this bug via the contact form twice but I am not confident it is submitting successfully, it just loads a blank page. Does anyone have a macOS installer for version 1.6_16 they might be able to share? That's the last version where this feature was still working, but I've unfortunately uninstalled it from my computer.
  • Magdalena Z February 29th, 2024 3:24 pm
    Dear all, is it possible to save our results with VOSviewer and open them later in the program?
    When I save the file with "save...." after opening it in VOSviewer, it is not possible to see the lines connecting the keywords. I can only see certain keywords
    • Marijane White February 29th, 2024 11:43 pm
      Magdelena, what format are you saving to? I believe if you save your work to the map and network files, reopening these should reproduce the graphs exactly as they were when you saved them.
  • Amber C February 18th, 2024 8:36 pm
    Hello, when I select the files, an error of "multiple AB fields" pops up, but I don't know how to amend the ris. text, or is there any other solution? Many thanks.
  • ian February 16th, 2024 4:24 pm
    Perhaps you can consider open-sourcing this awesome software so that we can assist you in completing compatibility upgrades and issue fixes
  • Natcha Poonsiri January 31st, 2024 5:43 pm
    I already successfully installed Java 8 Update 401 in my mac but the VOSviewer still show that it's unable to load Java Runtime Environment. What can I do?
    • Devon Whetstone March 27th, 2024 6:39 pm
      I am experiencing the exact same problem. Did you every find or receive a solution?
      • Serena April 2nd, 2024 12:56 pm
        me too on Macbook M1 Sonoma.. any solution?
        • Cesc May 21st, 2024 2:50 pm
          Same here
    • Stephen McAleese July 11th, 2024 10:06 pm
      I had this problem and I got it working by downloading Java for macOS intel.
  • Marcelo Oliva January 30th, 2024 3:56 am
    Hi Nees Jan van Eck and Ludo Waltman. Just trying to download AIDA booklet and it appears that the download link provided does not work anymore. Here is (I guess) the updated working download link. Thanks for your valuable work developing VOS, and cheers from Chile!
  • Seung-Hyun Lee January 22nd, 2024 5:49 pm
    Hi, I'm trying to import Lens data (.csv) but it keeps saying 'Error while reading Lens file: Cannot find Author/s, keywords, MeSH Term, or References field'. But I didn't edit anything since I downloaded the data from Lens. and it happens with all my files I downloaded from Lens. What can be done? thanks in advance!
    • Peerasin April 8th, 2024 4:36 pm
      I am experiencing the same problem as you.
      Have you found a way to fix it yet?
      • The same error from my side... May 8th, 2024 2:04 pm
        Any detail about how to fix it?
  • Bastian Weck January 22nd, 2024 1:08 pm
    I can't open VOSviewer anymore after I worked a couple of weeks with it. This Error code appears always: "unable to load Java Runtime environment".
    I've updated the program, java and my mac, but it doesn't helped at all. I've also deleted and reinstalled.
    Does someone might have a solution for that?
    • Carol May 24th, 2024 9:31 pm
      Same problem, it just doesn't open
  • Darren McCard January 22nd, 2024 8:19 am
    Anyone had any success using Endnote to create a map based on bibliographic data? When choosing data source, VOSviewer looks for an EndNote file type of .enw but Endnote now uses .enl file type. Tried using a .enl file but a get an error "error while reading Endnote File.
  • Georges Casamatta November 26th, 2023 2:42 pm
    While I have successfully run vos viewer a number of times, I just received the following error message when trying to create a citation map:
    An unexpected error has occurred (java.lang.NegativeArraySizeException: -2052726983 at line 206 of VOSviewer will be terminated.
    Any help is appreciated!
  • Wilbur November 24th, 2023 5:35 am
    Hello. I am trying to export a graph as an SVG file . However, I am getting the following error many times:
    "This page contains the following errors:
    error on line 16 at column 7: Encoding error"
    For other format like PNG, jpg do not have this issue. Please help me with this, thank you!
  • Diya November 1st, 2023 2:43 pm
    How do we start generating a map on our topic?
  • AINA LIYANA October 26th, 2023 3:21 pm
    Hi, I have the map, but how do I identify the research gap using the map? I still lost.
  • Francesca October 24th, 2023 11:11 am
    Hi! Is it possible to see which papers belong to each cluster?
    Thank you! Francesca
    • Rachel Horst October 24th, 2023 2:09 pm
      This is something I've been trying to figure out as well! Help on this would be greatly appreciated!
      • Sebastiano Caleffi October 26th, 2023 3:44 pm
        I haven't used it in a while, but you should be able to see items grouped by clusters in the 'items' tab once you have generated a map.
        If you look at the figure at page 8 of the manual, you'll see the 'items' tab to the left of the image, between the 'file' and 'analysis' tabs.
        Does this help?
  • Rachel Horst October 14th, 2023 7:51 pm
    This is a fantastic tool. I'm just wondering - is it possible to access the citation from the node? The visualization is helpful but can it work in reverse? This seems like a very useful feature but I can't figure it out.
    • Sebastiano Caleffi October 26th, 2023 4:51 pm
      It depends from what visualisation you are using. As far as I know, you can do this only if you display a 'citation' network, by document - so if you display a map of which articles are connected by a citation. If you do, and you double click on a node, it will open up a link to the original article (not sure if this works only if the reference contains the DOI).
      If you are visualising a co-citation network on the other hand then no, you can't reverse access the citation just by clicking on the node. In this type of visualisation, VOSViewer uses the citation data to build individual 'tags' for each document in order to generate a co-citation network, so there is just a string of text behind each node. There is no link VOSViewer can use to redirect you to the original article, because the tags the software is using are generated each time you run the analysis.
      This is my understanding, if anyone else knows how to implement this let us know!
  • Philip October 1st, 2023 2:15 pm
    One of my PhD students found the solution to multiple authors appearing on each 'line' when you run author co-citation analysis in Scopus. The solution is to export a "saved list" rather than the initial search results.
    1. First save the filtered list of documents on the search page to "Saved Lists".
    2. Reopen the list from the "saved lists" section.
    3. Then export the list to a CSV file from the document list page.
    • Alexander December 18th, 2023 4:49 pm
      Sorry, i didnt understand very well the process. Which list do you save? is it the first column of the CSV, the column "document ype or another one?
      I have read that the problem is the separation of the authors names with ";" instead of "," yet, when i chaged them from ";" --> "," vosviewer doesnt read the document for the error " (line 1) invalid char between encapsulated token and delimiter.
      I hope you could explain me. Thanks!
      • Elias April 26th, 2024 9:16 pm
        I had the same issue just today. My mistake was that when selecting the database at the beginning of the search, I didn't choose "Web of Science Core Collection".
        So to sum up, when working with Web of Science, make sure to select the ‘Web of Science Core Collection’ and to export data to a tab-delimited text file, choosing the option ‘Full Record and Cited References’.
  • Stefan Carlstein September 26th, 2023 1:50 pm
    Hi! The link to the AIDA booklet generates an "Access Denied" message. Although I found the booklet here: (there is also a direct link to the PDF:
  • Yuli September 23rd, 2023 1:56 pm
    hai I have trouble when I want to open this software after download.
    this is the statement warning "error: could not create the Java Virtual Machine. Error: a fatal exception has occurred. program will exit." could you please tell me how to fixed it?. I have already downloaded this software twice and get the same statement warning.
    • Erik October 23rd, 2023 6:58 pm
      Check if you have another software using Java. Software like IBM SPSS install their own version of java and VOSVIEWER tries to work with that. In that case you have to include the java directory in the PATH variable in environment variables and put it in the top
  • Taya C September 11th, 2023 2:57 am
    Has anyone been able to resolve the issue with Scopus changing the delimiters in csv exports? I've been unable to complete any analyses since this change.

    I'm hoping that VosViewer will be updated to address this issue but would love tips from other users!
  • Sunge R August 25th, 2023 10:41 pm
    Thank you for the platform. I am working on a bibliometric literature review article. I generated a Network Visualization of keyword co-occurrences. I took screenshots of the visualizations and included them in my paper. However, the journal editor suggests that I need to work with the output from VoSviewer (and recommends MS Power Point) in order to mark the clusters with dotted lines or circles.
    Anyone who can help how I export the visualizations in PPT or word?
    • Philip September 28th, 2023 9:07 am
      Easy. Either use export screenshot or select the map and paste into ppt. Once the map is in ppt you can insert circle lines around the coaster and insert text to name the clusters. Similarly, you can use insert text function to insert text boxes to name more of the nodes.
      This is particularly important for journals that have print version where the map will be produced in grayscale.
  • nakissa barzegar August 16th, 2023 7:22 am
    Dear sir/madam
    i am using Microsoft surface 6 pro with win11. although java have been installed, the vosviewer does not work and this message has been shown "Error:could not create java virtual machine. a fatal exception has occurred. program will exit".
    please help me to solve it
  • Philip Hallinger August 12th, 2023 1:05 am
    Well, that's one of the stupider requirements that I've heard from a journal editor. And after publishing 250 articles, I've heard a lot of stupid requirements!
    I thought that I'd suggest a workaround by creating a thesaurus file that would replace the lower case with title case names. However, when I tested it myself, it didn't work. So this appears to be something integral to the program code. Maybe Prof W. will have an option for you, but maybe not.
    In the meantime I would go back to the editor with a three point strategy.
    1. Explain again that it's not possible with the software.
    2. You might also point out that such maps have been published in numerous journals (name a few prestigious journals in your field that have published maps generated in VOSviewer).
    3. Finally, note that this is akin to SPSS output that is often published in figures that include text in non-standard formats.
    If there is no way to do it in VOSviewer, and the editor still insists that this MUST be done, then your only alternative would be to copy and paste the maps into powerpoint. Create new title case labels using the insert text box function. Then put the new labels over the old ones. However, this will be very time consuming and probably not look very good in the end if you have a map with more than 100 items on it.
    Good luck!
    • Andy Yeung August 16th, 2023 8:47 am
      Dear Philip,
      To replace the lower case with title case names, it can be done by editing the VOSviewer map file (.txt). To get this file, click Save (not Screenshot > Save, but the direct Save button on the screen, right below Create and Open). Give the files a name and save the map file and network file. Then open the map file with Excel. You may need to use the 'Sort data to columns' function in Excel. Replace the lower case with title case names, then save the file. Remember to save it in .txt format but not .xls format.
      Back to VOSviewer, click Open. Choose the edited map file and the (no edit) network file. The map should look like what you want. See if it works.
      • Shilpi Garg December 2nd, 2023 11:16 am
        Yes, its working and thanku so much.
  • Hafeez Ur Rahim August 11th, 2023 10:43 pm
    I have worked on a publication involving bibliometric analysis, which is stuck with a query.
    The editor has asked to prepare the figures (author and country network maps) following English grammatical rules, i.e. to capitalize the initials of names of authors and countries.
    However, since the figures are software generated, I have not been able to resolve the query.
    I downloaded the data from the Web of Science Core Collection and used vosviewer for performing bibliometric analysis.
    Can somebody help in resolving the query for capitalizing the initials of author and country names.
    Thanking you in anticipation.
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