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Comparing Google Scholar, Web of Science and Scopus for use in citation searching.

Comparing Google Scholar, Web of Science and Scopus for use in citation searching.

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  • 1. Citation Searching Comparing Web of Science, Google Scholar and Scopus Valerie Forrestal, Stevens Institute of Technology 11-12-08
  • 2. Citation Databases Meho&Yang http://www.info.scopus.com/detail/what/ http://isiwebofknowledge.com/currentuser_wokhome/cu_productspecs/ Source Unknown 1996-present (with cited references) 1823-present (without cited references) A&HCI: 1975-present SCI: 1900-present SSCI: 1956- present Coverage years 500M records Unknown 30+ document types 36M records 16,000 titles Journals (1200 open access), Conference Proceedings, Trade Publications & book series 40M records 10,000 titles Journals (240 open access) & conference papers Breadth of coverage Google Scholar Scopus Web of Science
  • 3. Source : Hull, D., Pettifer, S.R., & Kell, D.B. (2008). Defrosting the Digital Library: Bibliographic Tools for the Next Generation Web. PLoS Computational Biology 4(10): e1000204 doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000204
  • 4.
    • Content: Scopus has almost 36 million record and WoS -including backfiles- 40 million. Scopus includes 16,000 journal titles against almost 10,000 in WoS.
    • Coverage : preliminary conclusions:
      • Scopus has after 1996 about 30% more, and before that about 10% less coverage than WoS
      • Coverage in biology, environmental science, engineering and computer science very good in Scopus
      • Coverage in health sciences also very good, but doubt over most recent years
      • Coverage psych, anthropology, economics and chemistry acceptable, but before 1996 there are several gaps
      • Coverage in physics, astronomy, math and sociology less reliable
      • Not-so-great coverage philosophy, theology, arts and literature
    • Up-to-dateness: there is hardly any difference between WoS-Scopus considering the speed of updating records
    • Citation details: again the difference is rather small, there is a large overlap between WoS-Scopus, but the difference with Google Scholar is larger and it finds more unique publications.
    • Speed: Google Scholar is faster than WoS or Scopus. WoS has the disadvantage of being a little slower than Scopus.
    • Opinions : most "power users" like the Scopus interface and value the Refine and Citation Tracker, but it can not replace -for the time being- the Journal Citation Reports.
    Source : Bosman, J., I.v. Mourik, M. Rasch, E. Sieverts & H. Verhoeff (2006). Scopus reviewed and compared; the coverage and functionality of the citation database Scopus, including comparisons with Web of Science and Google Scholar. ( http://igitur-archive.library.uu.nl/DARLIN/2006-1220-200432/Scopus%20doorgelicht%20&%20vergeleken%20-%20translated.pdf ) – includes updated info. -vf.
  • 5. Scopus and WoS: Citation Count
    • Scopus vs. WoS
      • 14.0% (278) more citations by Scopus
        • More comprehensive coverage by Scopus (15,000 vs. 8,700 periodicals)
    • Scopus + WoS
      • Scopus increases WoS citations by 35% (710)
      • WoS increases Scopus citations by 19.0% (432)
      • Relatively low overlap (58%) and high uniqueness (42%)
    Scopus (2,301) Web of Science (2,023) 58% (1,591) 26% (710) 16% (432) Scopus  WoS (2,733) Source : Meho & Yang
  • 6. GS vs. Scopus  WoS
    • GS increases WoS  Scopus citations by 93% (2,552)
    • Scopus  WoS increases GS citations by 26% (1,104)
    • GS identifies 53% (or 1,448) more citations than WoS  Scopus
    • GS has much better coverage of conference proceedings
      • (1,849 by GS vs. 496 by Scopus  WoS)
    • GS has over twice as many unique citations as Scopus  WoS
      • (2,552 vs. 1,104, respectively)
    Google Scholar (4,181) Scopus  WoS (2,733) 31% (1,629) 48% (2,552) 21% (1,104) GS  Scopus  WoS (5,285) Source : Meho & Yang
  • 7. Meho & Yang’s Findings
    • Scopus, WoS, and GS complement rather than replace each other
    • GS can be useful in showing evidence of broader international impact than could possibly be done through Scopus and WoS
    • GS can be very useful for citation searching purposes; however, it is not conducive for large-scale comparative citation analyses
    • Multiple sources of citations should be used to generate accurate citation counts and rankings
      • Citation databases complement one another
      • Small overlap between sources may significantly influence relative ranking
      • citation coverage varies by research area, document type, language
  • 8. Common Citation Searching Problems
    • Misspellings.
    • Uncommon spellings/languages/special symbols
    • Author name variations
    • Incorrect citations (for example, year, volume number, inconsistencies of abbreviation).
    • Author order – may only be cited by the first author.
    • Self-citations.
    • Monographic literature is not well covered.
  • 9. Database Strengths
    • Scopus ’ strengths:
    • interface design/search features
    • recent content (post 1996)
    • the sciences (especially STM)
    • conference proceedings
    • openURL compliant
    • WoS ’ strengths:
    • humanities coverage
    • older publications
    • journal citation reports/impact factors/h-index
    • Google Scholar ’s strengths:
    • number of articles found
    • international/multilingual coverage
    • better coverage of citations in books and other non-journal sources
  • 10. Database Weaknesses
    • Scopus ’ weaknesses:
    • humanities content (also math, physics and business/management)
    • older articles (pre 1996)
    • WoS ’ weaknesses:
    • limited coverage (very few non-ISI-listed/non-English/open access sources)
    • expensive back-files
    • poor external linking capabilities (links are long and contain session ID)
    • Google Scholar ’s weaknesses:
    • very few advanced search/limit/sort features
    • inclusion of non-scholarly sources
    • significantly more time needed to weed/check sources
    • lack of transparency regarding source selection, number of documents, coverage, indexing, etc.
    • difficult to export citations
    • incorrect citations from improper scans
  • 11. Sources
    • Bauer, K., & Bakkalbasi, N. (2005). An examination of citation counts in a new scholarly communication environment. D-Lib Magazine , 11(9). ( http://dlib.org/dlib/september05/bauer/09bauer.html )
    • Bosman, J., Mourik, I.v. Rasch, Sieverts, M. E., & Verhoeff, H. (2006). Scopus reviewed and compared; the coverage and functionality of the citation database Scopus, including comparisons with Web of Science and Google Scholar. ( http://igitur-archive.library.uu.nl/DARLIN/2006-1220-200432/Scopus%20doorgelicht%20&%20vergeleken%20-%20translated.pdf )
    • Harzing, A. W. K., & van der Wal, R. (2008) .Google Scholar as a new source for citation analysis, Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics , 8. ( http://www.int-res.com/articles/esep2008/8/e008pp5.pdf )
    • Hull, D., Pettifer, S.R., & Kell, D.B. (2008). Defrosting the Digital Library: Bibliographic Tools for the Next Generation Web. PLoS Computational Biology 4(10): e1000204 doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000204
    • Meho, L.I., & Yang, K. (2007, preprint). A new era in citation and bibliometric analyses: Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology . ( http://arxiv.org/ftp/cs/papers/0612/0612132.pdf )