How to Access the Web of Science PostgreSQL Database

Since access to the Web of Science PostgreSQL database is tied to access to supercomputers, it can only be granted after a multi-step process that ensures security and access rights:

  1. Get a Compute Canada account
  2. Opt into the Niagara & Mist service
  3. Upload an SSH key to CCDB
  4. Request WoS database access from SciNet

These steps only need to be completed once to gain access, and should normally only take a few days at most to be approved.

1. Get a Compute Canada account

Please visit the Compute Canada Database (CCDB) website and apply for an account (takes a day or two to approve).
 
Note: Students and postdocs need to be sponsored by their supervisor, who would need to already have a Compute Canada account (or create one first). In case this is not feasible, you can ask to be sponsored by a librarian at the Map & Data Library. To make these arrangements, please contact the Map & Data Library for assistance.

2. Opt in to Niagara & Mist service

After the Compute Canada account is approved, you should opt in to the Niagara & Mist service on the CCDB website (or use this direct link). The opt-in will be approved manually after one or two days, which will give you access to the Niagara supercomputer and other SciNet systems, as long as the SSH key has been uploaded to the CCDB website (see next step).

3. Upload an SSH key to CCDB

Next, locate the Manage SSH Keys option on you account page on the CCDB website (or use this direct link) and upload your public SSH key. Instructions on creating SSH key pairs from the SciNet Wiki can help you with this process. This wiki also contains pages with more information on creating SSH key pairs specifically on a Windows machine, or on Mac or Linux machines. The Map & Data Library also provides a quick start tutorial for creating SSH key pairs on a Mac, if you need more help.

4. Request WoS database access from SciNet

Finally, please send an email to SciNet's support team and let them know you would like access to the UofT-WoS database. Please use your University of Toronto email address so that staff can easily identify your account. After that is approved, you will be able to connect an SQL client to the database called 'wos' on the SciNet database server node (idb1).

More information about the database server is available, as is specific information about the UofT-WoS database structure.

If working with object-relational databases, SQL, and high performance computing environments are new to you, check out this tutorial for Windows users or this tutorial for Mac users to help you get started.

If you have any question, feel free to contact us.