24 may 2018

Publications and impact of the fields of management, economics, and sociology in Spain and France: Google scholar versus Scopus

Gantman, E.R., Dabós, M.P. 
Research output and impact of the fields of management, economics, and sociology in spain and france: An analysis using google scholar and scopus. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. In press 

The goal of this article is therefore to explore the usefulness of Google Scholar for the study of the social sciences in non‐Anglophone countries, particularly analyzing the research output and impact by language.  In this regard, the research questions that we will address are the following: 

  • What is the distribution of document types obtained from searching in Google Scholar? 
  • Does the impact in terms of citations received in Google Scholar differ across different types of scientific documents? 
  • How extended is the use of English in the social sciences in non‐Anglophone countries? 
  • Does this use differ according to type of document? 
  • Do scientific documents written in English have greater impact than those written in the vernacular language? 
  • How do the results obtained from GS compare with those from Scopus?


We address these issues with case studies of two non‐Anglophone countries, Spain and France, in three scientific fields, economics, management and sociology.
The total number of researchers selected for the study was 1,500 (each discipline has 250 individuals by country). We then collected the scientific output of the selected researchers from Google Scholar using the Publish or Perish 4.0 program.
The research output of the individual authors was assigned to one of the three disciplines according to their academic department of affiliation or to the main disciplinary topic of their research laboratory.
For each document from the researchers’ production supplied by the Publish or Perish software, we collected the following information:
1. Document type, which we classified into article, book, book chapter, PhD thesis, book review, congress presentation, or other (gray literature, working papers, etc.).
2. Publication year.
3. Publication language. In the case of Spain, we distinguished between Spanish or Castilian (the country's main language), dialect (category that includes the languages of some autonomous communities like Catalonia and the Basque country), English, and “others” as residual category. In the case of France, we distinguished between French, English, and “others” as residual category.
4. Number of citations received.
We also searched the production of the 1,500 researchers in Scopus, collecting similar data for each document entry.


The results suggest that, because of a documentary coverage in many languages that is greater than traditional bibliographic databases, GS is a very useful tool for examining the social sciences in non‐Anglophone countries. Compared with Scopus, Google Scholar finds more than 5 documents per document found in Scopus; but these differences in coverage vary by discipline.

Google Scholar dataset shows that the most utilized form for communication of scientific research is the article in the three disciplines and both countries, although books and book chapters also have a relevant share of total output. In addition, our findings show the importance of the vernacular languages. However, in the French case, the use of English appears to be very extended in economics. Moreover, we have also found that Scopus coverage of French documents in sociology is high (72% of total documents), which counters the existence of an English‐bias of this database in this particular case.

The level of internationalization of research output in the disciplines considered appears as variable, with sociology as the one most focused on the vernacular language of each country. This confirms the importance of local sociologies and, consequently, the possible fragmentation of this discipline in different local traditions. In contrast, economics is the most internationalized discipline.

Regarding the impact received by articles, books, and book chapters, there is a predominance of books in terms of received citations for the three disciplines and both countries in Google Scholar. Finally, and except for the case of articles in French sociology and for books in France, our results show that publishing in English has a great impact in the disciplines studied. This suggests that, in certain social sciences as well as in particular forms of diffusion of academic production, scholars may grant more attention to sources written in their country's vernacular language. Further research is needed in order to understand why this occurs and why it happens in certain countries and not in others.. 

22 ene 2018

The field of climate impact on societies in the past from Web of Science and Google Scholar

Susanne Mikki, Hemed Ali Al Ruwehy, Øyvind Liland Gjesdal, Marta Zygmuntowska
Filter bubbles in interdisciplinary research: a case study on climate and society
Library Hi Tech, 2018

The purpose of this paper is to compare the content of Web of Science (WoS) and Google Scholar (GS) by searching the interdisciplinary field of climate and ancient societies. The authors aim at analyzing the retrieved documents by open availability, received citations, co-authors and type of publication

The authors searched the services by a defined set of keyword. Data were retrieved and analyzed using a variety of bibliometric tools such as Publish or Perish, Sci2Tool and Gephi. In order to determine the proportion of open full texts based on the WoS result, the authors relocated the records in GS, using an off-campus internet connection.

The authors found that the top 1,000 downloadable and analyzable GS items matched poorly with the items retrieved by WoS. Based on this approach (subject searching), the services appeared complementary rather than similar. Even though the first search results differ considerably by service, almost each single WoS title could be located in GS. Based on GS’s full text recognition, the authors found 74 percent of WoS items openly available and the citation median of these was twice as high as for documents behind paywalls. 

15 ene 2018

Performance Behavior Patterns in Author-Level Metrics: A Disciplinary Comparison of Google Scholar Citations, ResearchGate, and ImpactStory

Enrique Orduña-Malea & Emilio Delgado López-Cózar
Performance Behavior Patterns in Author-Level Metrics: A Disciplinary Comparison of Google Scholar Citations, ResearchGate, and ImpactStory
Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics, 22 December 2017

The main goal of this work is to verify the existence of diverse behavior patterns in academic production and impact, both among members of the same scientific community (inter-author variability) and for a single author (intra-author variability), as well as to find out whether this fact affects the correlation among author-level metrics (AutLMs) in disciplinary studies. in order to answer the main goal mentioned above, we pose the following research questions:
RQ1: Is it possible to detect different academic behavior patterns among authors working in the same discipline (inter-author variability) using the AutLMs available in online academic profile services?
RQ2: Is it possible to detect different academic behavior patterns by the same author (intra-author variability) using the AutLMs available in online academic profile services?
RQ3: If the two previous questions can be answered affirmatively, do these behaviors affect the correlations between AutLMs?


Ttwo samples are examined: a general sample (members of a discipline, in this case Bibliometrics; n= 315 authors), and a specific sample (only one author; n = 119 publications). Four AutLMs (Total Citations, Recent Citations, Reads, and Online mentions) were extracted from three platforms (Google Scholar Citations, ResearchGate, and ImpactStory). 


The analysis of the general sample reveals the existence of different performance patterns, in the sense that there are groups of authors who perform prominently in some platforms, but exhibit a low impact in the others. The case study shows that the high performance in certain metrics and platforms is due to the coverage of document typologies, which is different in each platform (for example, Reads in working papers). 

The correlations (Spearman; α < 0.1) between the different metrics (Total Citations, Recent Citations, Reads, and Online mentions) 

As regards AutLMs, a non-linear distribution in the data extracted from the three platforms (Google Scholar Citations, ResearchGate, and ImpactStory) has been found. There are few authors with a high performance, and a long tail with moderate, low, or null performance. Moreover, the high performance authors are not the same across the three studied dimensions of impact (Citations, Reads, and Online mentions). The lack of correlation might be explained by the fact that each platform offers different documents, targeted to different audiences.

This fact has facilitated the identification of different patterns of online academic behavior in the studied platforms (RQ1). Some authors present a markedly formal performance (Citations, mainly to journal articles) while other authors stand out in Reads (both to articles and to other document typologies), or in Online mentions (mainly Articles). Combined patterns have also been found (high performance in Citations and Reads, and low in Online mentions). This issue evidences that the analysis of a single platform, not even considering of the demographic aspects related to the population of a discipline that is reflected, can mask the performance of an author who has particularly high or low values in any given platform.

Lastly, the ego-analysis has allowed us to confirm the existence of authors with different patterns of online academic behavior depending on the types of documents that they publish (RQ2). In this case, we could observe the existence of working papers with a high amount of Reads and Online mentions, as well as the existence of a large group of articles with a lower number of citations. That is, certain typologies are generating an impact (Reads in ResearchGate) that cannot be observed in other platforms. Again, the different nature of the research activity (article: generating knowledge; report: application of knowledge to solve a problem; educational materials: knowledge transfer, etc.) determines everything. The people who cite are scientists, the same ones that produce scientific knowledge, whereas practitioners read but do not cite as much, so it is less likely that they would cite other studies.

This fact again brings us to the need not only of considering different online academic profile platforms (in order to capture different impact profiles) but also to categorize the type of impact according to the document typologies, because a general analysis of authors might mask their actual impact.

All this makes us question the usefulness and precision of the correlation analyses of AutLMs within a discipline that have not taken into account inter-author or intra-author variability to model the multidimensional impact of authors. This is one of the aspects in which Altmetrics studies should focus their attention from now on.