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Citation Analysis: A Comparison of Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science

Kiduk Yang and Lokman I. Meho

ASIS&T Annual Meeting - 2006 (ASIS&T 2006)
Austin, Texas, November 3-9, 2006


When evaluated for hiring, tenure, or promotion, faculty members are judged in part by the impact and quality of their scholarly publications. While all academic institutions rely on the subjective opinions of peers and on assessments of publication counts and venues to evaluate an author's work, many hiring, tenure, and promotion committees additionally rely on citation analysis because it provides a more objective indication of impact and quality. As a result, faculty members try to identify as many citations to their published works as possible to provide an assessment of the overall impact of their publications on the scholarly and professional communities. The Institute for Scientific Information's (ISI) citation databases—Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Science Citation Index, and Social Sciences Citation Index—have for over 25 years been used as a starting point, and most often as the only sources, for locating citations. ISI databases, however, have several limitations that may leave gaps in the coverage of citations to an author's work. This paper presents a case study comparing citations found in Scopus and Google Scholar with those found in Web of Science (the portal used to search the three ISI citation databases) for items published by two Library and Information Science full-time faculty members. The study reports differences Scopus and Google Scholar make to citation data for these professors. The study also examines the scholarly value of the unique materials found through Google Scholar. In addition, the study presents CiteSearch, a citation search system that enables users to easily obtain a comprehensive picture of an author's research impact by automating the tedious and time-consuming process of citation identification and analysis from different sources.

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