MLIM 6025 Task 2 – Review a Research Based Article Produced by: Eliza Yu Clara Kwan Lucile Lee Phoebe Leung June 2007
The Journal article we chose:
Title: Google scholar citation and google web/URL citations: A multi-discipline exploratory analysis
Author: KOUSHA, Kayvan & THELWALL, Mike
Published in: Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology
Volume: 58, Issue: 7, p. 1055-1065
What is the problem of the study?
Previous studies :
Claims that Web could be an alternative to the ISI (traditional form of citation) for citation impact calculations (Vaughan & Shaw, 2005).
Author’s thought :
There are differences in the extent which disciplines publish on the Web and write journal articles so more information is needed about disciplinary differences in online citation counting to confirm or deny these claims.
3 Research Questions:
Do Google Scholar citations to journal articles correlate with ISI citations in all disciplines?
Do web-based citations (more precisely, Web/URL citations) to journal articles correlate with ISI citations in all disciplines?
Are there clear disciplinary differences between conventional and web-based citation patterns?
What procedures did the experimenter use for the study?
Identify problem area.
Do literature reviews of past researches in this area to understand background of the problem.
There are relatively few comprehensive studies across several subject areas comparing conventional citations with web-based citations
Identify variables concerned : ISI, Google Scholar, and Google Web/URL citation counts.
Set the three Research Questions.
Choose sampling as research methodology - use new data gathering method called “Web/URL citation” – Web/URL and Google Scholar
Web/URL citation is a Web mention of its title, or URL, or both
Why Google Scholar? Easy of use, saving time and access to a wide range of resources (Friend, 2006)
Some publishers heralded Google Scholar because of its broad coverage of academic information
Google Scholar included many web sites from universities, notably OCLC Open WorldCat with millions of bibliographic records (Notess, 2005)
Cont’d on the procedures
Choose the samples of 1,650 articles from 108 open access (OA) journals.
Published at least since 2001 Allow a significant time window in which to attract citations
The articles are in the disciplines: [Sciences] Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Computer science; [Social Sciences] Economics, Education, Sociology, Psychology
Defining ISI, Google Scholar, and Google Web/URL Citation counts of an online journal article
Do quantitative data collection. Study period : Sept 2005 – Jan 2006.
Quantitative result analysis – perform correlation tests: Pearson Correlation test and Spearman Correlation test
Draw conclusions and recommendations
What were the major conclusions for the study?
Q1. Significant correlation between ISI citations and Google Scholar and Google Web/URL citations in many science and social sciences disciplines like Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Computer, Economics, Sociology and Education. (but not in Psychology).
Q1. Google scholar citations correlated more highly with ISI citations than Google Web/URL citations.
Q3. Confirmed there is clear disciplinary differences between conventional and web-based citation patterns.
Q3. In Computer Science and Social Sciences, Google Scholar has been used more than ISI.
Q3. Considering the percentage overlap of articles covered in ISI and Google Scholar, there are large disciplinary differences
Significant trends can be detected from this study but there are numerous exceptions too.
Problematic still to replace traditional citations with Google/Web citations for calculating research impact factor.
Cont’d on Conclusion: Limitations and future research opportunities of the study
1. Research reported low rate of OA journals in science and social science disciplines published in 2001.
2. Google Scholar was still new in journal searching at the time the study was held.
Suggestion by the authors: Similar studies can be conducted again a few years later, to gather more comprehensive results from more OA journals and the Google Scholar, which will probable be a more sophisticated search engine for journals.
3. T h e study only deal ed with English language journals .
Suggestion by the authors: To have similar study on different languages, in order to further investigate the issue on languages bias in the ISI databases.
How would you classify the study according to the six types of research categories?
Quantitative (Numeric data)
The relationship between (variable X: ISI citations ) and (variable Y: Google Scholar Citations and Google Web/URL citations ) among (Type of subjects: Academic Journal articles )
Relationship prediction – Correlational Research
Kousha, Kayvan, & Thelwall, Mike. (2007). Google scholar citations and google web/URL citations: A multi-discipline exploratory analysis. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology , 58 (7), 1055-1065.
Vaughan, L., & Shaw, D. (2005). Web citation data for impact assessment: A comparison of four science disciplines. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology , 56 (10), 1075-1087.
Notess, G.R. (2005). Scholarly Web searching: Google Scholar and Scirus. Online , 29 (4).