This study presents a description of an open database on scientific output of Vietnamese researchers in social sciences and humanities, one that corrects for the shortcomings in current research publication databases such as data duplication, slow update, and a substantial cost of doing science. Here, using scientists’ self-reports, open online sources and cross-checking with Scopus database, we introduce a manual system and its semi-automated version of the database on the profiles of 657 Vietnamese researchers in social sciences and humanities who have published in Scopus-indexed journals from 2008 to 2018. The final system also records 973 foreign co-authors, 1,289 papers, and 789 affiliations. The data collection method, highly applicable for other sources, could be replicated in other developing countries while its content be used in cross-section, multivariate, and network data analyses. The open database is expected to help Vietnam revamp its research capacity and meet the public demand for greater transparency in science management.