8 nov. 2016

The Google Scholar revolution: opening the academic Pandora's box

Enrique Orduna-Malea, Alberto Martín-Martín, Juan M. Ayllón, Emilio Delgado López-Cózar

La revolución Google Scholar: 
Destapando la caja de Pandora académica
Editorial Universidad de Granada; 
UNE. Unión de Editoriales Universitarias Españolas
ISBN 978-84-338-5941-9 (print); ISBN 978-84-338-5985-3 (PDF)

Google Scholar brought a true revolution in the way scientific information is searched, found, and accessed. The simple search box, already a de facto standard for searching information, takes users to numerous and relevant results including all document types, written in any language, and published in any country. Using this search engine is easy, quick, and free. However, what started as a search engine has unintentionally become a very valuable source of data for research evaluation, with bibliometric applications. That is, a true "academic Pandora's box".

The goal of this book is, mainly, to provide an in-depth description of all the characteristics and features of Google Scholar. Its origin and evolution are described, and the way it works, its size, coverage, and growth is analysed thoroughly. All its functionalities are delineated, and its strengths, weaknesses, and dangers are discussed.

A comprehensive review of all the scientific literature dealing empirically with the behaviour of this platform is carried out.

Additionally, this work also discusses the main products that have been derived from the search engine. Google Scholar Citations, born as a author profile service in which researchers could generate a bibliographic profile to display their documents, as well as the number of times they have been cited, including various bibliometric indicators. Google Scholar Metrics is also discussed. This product was created as a ranking of the most influential scientific publications sorted by their h index. Apart from journals, it includes some conferences and repositories also covered by Google Scholar.

Third party products created by independent researchers are also analysed. All these products make use of Google Scholar as a source of data for bibliometric analyses: Publish or Perish, Scholarometer, H Index Scholar, Journal Scholar Metrics, Publishers Scholar Metrics, Proceedings Scholar Metrics y Scholar Mirrors.

In short, this books offers an all-inclusive and meticulous view of Google Scholar and its related products. It is the result of the intense research work carried out by the authors during almost a decade at Universidad de Granada and Universidad Politécnica de Valencia where they work as professors and researchers.

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