March 22, 2006

UBC Professor: Google Scholar On Par With Science Citation Index For Performing Citation Counts

.: From an article in the March 2006 issue of University Affairs / Affaires universitaires, "Canada's magazine on higher education," titled Google Scholar service matches Thomson ISI citation index, by Léo Charbonneau. Excerpt:

The free Google Scholar service does as good a job as Thomson ISI’s science citation index for performing citation counts and could be used as a cheap substitute to the costly Thomson service, says a University of British Columbia professor. Thomson’s citation databases are accessible through the company’s Web of Science portal only by subscription, which can cost a university tens of thousands of dollars a year.

Daniel Pauly, director of the Fisheries Centre at UBC, and Konstantinos Stergiou, of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, compared the two methods using 114 papers from 11 disciplines published between 1925 and 2004. For papers published before 1990, the authors found that the citation counts were proportional. In other words, if Thomson ISI found that a particular paper was cited 10 times as often as another, Google Scholar found the same ratio. However, for these older papers, the actual citation counts with Google were about half that of Thomson.

Charbonneau notes that the results of the study by Pauly and Stergiou were published in a recent issue of the onine journal, Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics 2005:33-35. The "note" is titled, Equivalence of results from two citation analyses: Thomson's ISI Citation Index and Google's Scholar service. The previous link is to the .pdf file, which as far as I can tell, should be open access.

According to the article, Pauly disagrees with University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa LIS professor Péter Jacsó's assessment of Google Scholar in his article, As we may search – Comparison of major features of the Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar citation-based and citation-enhanced databases, (.pdf file, may require subscription) published in Current Science, v83 n9, 10 November 2005. Jacsó wrote two other assessments of Google Scholar for his column, Péter's Digital Reference Shelf: Google Scholar Beta (Dec 2004), and Google Scholar Redux (June 2005).

I have to confess, I have never made the time to compare these resources, along with Scopus. When do we have the time to do this? I am grateful that reports and studies such as the aforementioned ones come to our attention, but even finding time to read and digest them is difficult. I work with researchers from first-year to post-doc and faculty, and find that after an hour's in-depth one-on-one consulting with a post-graduate student or researcher, it is all they can do to absorb one or two dbs of critical interest to them.

So I wonder, am I not doing my job to the best of my abilities if I don't keep up with these types of analyses? We have Scopus and Web of Science, and we all have access to Google Scholar. How many of you are using more than one of these on a regular basis? At the same time, I *know* I need to become more familiar with Google Scholar...

March 13, 2006

Knowledgespeak Updates

.: One of the consequences of working two jobs at the same time is that my inbox is growing faster than I can hit the delete button. Here are a few recent items from the Knowledgespeak news archive, which I have been meaning to post for some time:

  • BioMed Central unveils new online open access journal - "Open access publisher BioMed Central, UK, has announced the launch of Biology Direct, a new online open access journal with a new peer review system. Led by Editors-in-Chief David J Lipman, Director of the National Center Biotechnology Information (NCBI); Eugene V Koonin, Senior Investigator at NCBI; and Laura Landweber, Associate Professor at Princeton University, the journal seeks to provide authors and readers with a unique system of peer review.

    The journal will cover original research articles, hypotheses and reviews, and is available online at The journal includes publications in the fields of Systems Biology, Computational Biology and Evolutionary Biology, to be soon followed by an Immunology section..."

Continue reading "Knowledgespeak Updates" »

March 9, 2006

Review: Scopus vs Web o' Science

.: George Porter reports the following on various discussion lists today:

Judy Burnham has published a review of Scopus and a comparison of it with Web of Science. Burnham is the Assistant Director for Administrative and Regional Services in the Charles M. Baugh Biomedical Library, University of South Alabama.

Judy F. Burnham. Scopus database: a review. Biomedical Digital Libraries 2006, 3:1. <>
Abstract: The Scopus database provides access to STM journal articles and the references included in those articles, allowing the searcher to search both forward and backward in time. The database can be used for collection development as well as for research. This review provides information on the key points of the database and compares it to Web of Science. Neither database is inclusive, but complements each other. If a library can only afford one, choice must be based in institutional needs.

Biomedical Digital Libraries (ISSN: 1742-5581) is an independent, Open Access journal hosted by BioMed Central.

October 25, 2005

JSTOR Archive Added to Web of Science

.: Thomson Scientific has added >1.25 million links to full-text articles currently available on JSTOR. From the 4 October 2005 press release:

Philadelphia, PA USA-London UK - October 4, 2005 - Today, Thomson Scientific announced that mutual subscribers to the Web of Science® component of ISI Web of KnowledgeSM and JSTOR can now link directly from Web of Science to full-text articles in the JSTOR Scholarly Journal Archive. Thomson Scientific is a business of The Thomson Corporation (NYSE: TOC; TSX: TOC).

The links to the JSTOR content significantly bolsters the already substantial Web of Science links to full text, adding links to more than 1.25 million articles. The JSTOR content also greatly enhances Web of Science links to the full text of retrospective content of arts and humanities journal articles.

March 17, 2005

Review of Web of Science (2004 version) and Scopus

:: I've been trying to make time to learn more about Scopus since we acquired it. It is a very powerful database, with substantial content. Will it supplant others we use here? There is a very detailed comparative review of Web of Science (2004 version) and Scopus, in the v6 n3 January 2005 issue, by Louise F Deis, Princeton, and David Goodman, Long Island University. Their quick summary in one sentence: "Quick summary in one sentence: Keep Web of Science and buy Scopus if you can once the publisher gets the data loaded." Two additional entries related to this review include the authors' comments on a review of WoS and Scopus in the 15 Jan 2005 Library Journal, and a letter to the authors in response to their review from two librarians at the R.W. Van Houten Library, New Jersey Institute of Technology.