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Google Scholar Can it really be used for bibliometrics? Isobel Stark & Michael Whitton June 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Google Scholar Can it really be used for bibliometrics? Isobel Stark & Michael Whitton June 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Google Scholar Can it really be used for bibliometrics? Isobel Stark & Michael Whitton June 2011

2 Google Scholar 2 Historical background? –Google Scholar released (in beta) in 2004 –Not the first freely available citation database (CiteSeer, Scirus, etc) –Not subject specific Is it a viable alternative to traditional citation databases such as Web of Science?

3 Pros of Google Scholar 3 Easy to access and free Indexes a wide range of articles –Especially Law, Humanities, Social Sciences Can find a wider range of metrics Metrics are generally a higher number

4 Cons of Google Scholar 4 Questionable data Lack of de-duplication Gaps Relies on algorithms Not designed for popular bibliometric measures –Requires add-ons to calculate h-index etc.

5 Recommended services (h-index on GS) 5 Quadsearch (Any browser) Scholar H-index Calculator (Mozilla Firefox) Scholarometer (Mozilla Firefox/Google Chrome) Publish or Perish (Separate Application)

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10 How our researchers use it 10 CVs and bids for funding Preferred by Medicine over InCites Factsheet for Finding your h-index in Google Scholar is very popular –6,764 visits in the last year –To compare WoS h-Index guide is 1,559 and Impact Factors 1,045

11 From the literature … 11 Bar-Illan (2008) – Israeli highly cited researchers –Significant differences from WoS and Scopus –Metrics can be higher (computer science), similar or lower (physics) Jasco (2008) –Problems of missing & wrong authors –Prolific authors F Password & M Profile –Specific problems often resolved

12 Subject specific studies 12 Franceshet (2009) – Computer Science –Google Scholar metrics are much higher –Significant correlation (but varies by type of metric) –Importance of proceedings Levine-Clark (2009) – Social Sciences –Significant value of using Google Scholar in addition to WoS –Significant value in journals not indexed by WoS & coverage of books

13 Subject specific studies … 13 Lee (2009) – Neurosurgery –Significant correlation between Google Scholar and Scopus Mingers (2010) – Business & Management –Lack of reliability and transparency of Google Scholar, but potential for a more comprehensive and less subject dependant analysis.

14 The h-index: WoS vs Google Scholar 14 Prof. Nigel Shadbolt (Computer Science) –WoS: 16 –Google Scholar: 23 Dr Simon Coles (Chemistry) –WoS: 36 –Google Scholar 22

15 The h-index: WoS vs Google Scholar … 15 Prof. Sally Brailsford (Management) –WoS: 9 –Google Scholar: 13 Prof. Christian Ottensmeier (Medicine) –WoS: 19 –Google Scholar: 19

16 The h-index: WoS vs Google Scholar … 16 Prof. Jane Falkingham (Social Sciences) –WoS: 7 –Google Scholar: 23 Dr Joanna Sofaer (Archaeology) –WoS: 2 –Google Scholar: 9

17 Supporting bibliometrics 17 Library research guides – Deskside training –1-2-1 training for staff & research postgraduates Planned session for research postgraduates –delivered through the Graduate School training programme

18 Conclusions 18 Some variation by subject Significant issues with quality of the data Can be useful to use in addition to Web of Science and/or Scopus

19 References 19 BAR-ILAN, J Which h-index? A comparison of WoS, Scopus and Google Scholar. Scientometrics, 74, FRANCESCHET, M A comparison of bibliometric indicators for computer science scholars and journals on Web of Science and Google Scholar. Scientometrics, 83, JACSO, P The pros and cons of computing the h- index using Google Scholar. Online Information Review, 32,

20 References … 20 LEVINE-CLARK, M. & GIL, E A comparative analysis of social sciences citation tools. Online Information Review, 33, LEE, J., KRAUS, K. L. & COULDWELL, W. T Use of the h index in neurosurgery. Journal of Neurosurgery, 111, MINGERS, J. & LIPITAKIS, E. A. E. C. G Counting the citations: a comparison of Web of Science and Google Scholar in the field of business and management. Scientometrics, 85,


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