Can we use Google Scholar to identify highly-cited documents?
- Martin-Martin, A.; Orduna-Malea, E; Harzing, A.W.; Delgado López-Cózar, E. (2017) Can we use Google Scholar to identify highly-cited documents?, Journal of Informetrics, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 152-163. Available online... - Publisher's version
The main objective of this paper is to empirically test whether the identification of highly-cited documents through Google Scholar is feasible and reliable. To this end, we carried out a longitudinal analysis (1950 to 2013), running a generic query (filtered only by year of publication) to minimise the effects of academic search engine optimisation. This gave us a final sample of 64,000 documents (1,000 per year). The strong correlation between a document’s citations and its position in the search results (r= -0.67) led us to conclude that Google Scholar is able to identify highly-cited papers effectively.
This, combined with Google Scholar’s unique coverage (no restrictions on document type and source), makes the academic search engine an invaluable tool for bibliometric research relating to the identification of the most influential scientific documents. We find evidence, however, that Google Scholar ranks those documents whose language (or geographical web domain) matches with the user’s interface language higher than could be expected based on citations. Nonetheless, this language effect and other factors related to the Google Scholar’s operation, i.e. the proper identification of versions and the date of publication, only have an incidental impact. They do not compromise the ability of Google Scholar to identify the highly-cited papers.
Related blog posts
- Publish or Perish: Realising Google Scholar's potential to democratise citation analysis
- Bibliometrics in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
- Is Google Scholar flawless? Of course not!
- From h-index to hIa: The ins and outs of research metrics
- Citation analysis for the Social Sciences: metrics and data-sources
- Working with ISI data: Beware of categorisation problems
- Sacrifice a little accuracy for a lot more comprehensive coverage
- Do Google Scholar, Scopus and the Web of Science speak your language?
- Benchmarking research performance
- Bank error in your favour? How to gain 3,000 citations in a week
- Microsoft Academic is one year old: the Phoenix is ready to leave the nest
- Why metrics can (and should?) be used in the Social Sciences
- Running the REF on a rainy Sunday afternoon: Do metrics match peer review?
Copyright © 2018 Anne-Wil Harzing. All rights reserved. Page last modified on Tue 7 Aug 2018 09:29
Anne-Wil Harzing is Professor of International Management at Middlesex University, London and visiting professor of International Management at Tilburg University. She is a Fellow of the Academy of International Business, a select group of distinguished AIB members who are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the scholarly development of the field of international business. In addition to her academic duties, she also maintains the Journal Quality List and is the driving force behind the popular Publish or Perish software program.