Is Google Scholar flawless? Of course not!
Reviews the major limitations of Google Scholar
Ok, I know I have been quite an advocate of Google Scholar. As I have argued in the past, Google Scholar and Publish or Perish have played a major role in democratising citation analysis. Rather than leaving it in the hands of those with access to commercial data-bases with high subscription fees, everyone with a computer and internet access can now run their own analyses. If you'd like to know more about this, have a look at this presentation.
Google Scholar Quirks
Does this mean I think Google Scholar is flawless? Of course not! Quite apart from its secrecy in terms of coverage and its oftentimes lack of response to support requests, there are quite a range of Google Scholar Quirks that are analysed in detail in my Publish or Perish tutorial.
- Google Scholar: Truncation
- Google Scholar: Wrong master record
- Google Scholar: Wrong author(s)
- Google Scholar: Inconsistent year
- Google Scholar: Stray citations
- Google Scholar: Book edition cites
- Google Scholar: Missing subject areas
- Google Scholar: Citation years
- Google Scholar: Slow searches
- Google Scholar: CAPTCHAS
Watch an interview on the Publish or Perish software
- Harzing, A.W.; Wal, R. van der (2008) Google Scholar as a new source for citation analysis?, Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 61-73. Available online... - Publisher's version (free access!)
- Harzing, A.W.; Wal, R. van der (2009) A Google Scholar h-index for journals: An alternative metric to measure journal impact in Economics & Business?, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, vol. 60, no. 1, pp 41-46. Available online... - ESI top 1% most Highly Cited Paper
- Harzing, A.W. (2013) A preliminary test of Google Scholar as a source for citation data: A longitudinal study of Nobel Prize winners, Scientometrics, vol. 93, no. 3, pp. 1057-1075. Available online... - Publisher's version (read for free) - ESI top 1% most Highly Cited Paper
- Harzing, A.W. (2013) Document categories in the ISI Web of Knowledge: Misunderstanding the Social Sciences?, Scientometrics, 93(1): 23-34. Available online... - Publisher’s version
- Harzing, A.W. (2014) A longitudinal study of Google Scholar coverage between 2012 and 2013, Scientometrics, vol. 98, no. 1, pp. 565-575. Available online... - Publisher's version (read for free) - ESI top 1% most Highly Cited Paper
- Harzing, A.W. (2015) Health warning: Might contain multiple personalities. The problem of homonyms in Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators, Scientometrics, vol. 105, no. 3, pp. 2259-2270. Available online... - Publisher's version (read for free) - [Press coverage in The Times and the Times Higher Education].
- Harzing, A.W. (2017) Publish or Perish: Realising Google Scholar's potential to democratise citation analysis, presented at the Google Scholar day, Madrid, 20 February 2017. Available online...
- Harzing, A.W.; Alakangas, S. (2016) Google Scholar, Scopus and the Web of Science: A longitudinal and cross-disciplinary comparison, Scientometrics, vol. 106, no. 2, pp. 787-804. Available online... - Publisher's version (read for free) - Presentation slides - Video presentation of this article - ESI top 1% most Highly Cited Paper - ESI hot paper
- Harzing, A.W.; Adler N.J. (2016) Disseminating knowledge: From potential to reality – New open-access journals collide with convention, Academy of Management Learning & Education, vol 15, no. 1, pp. 140-156. Available online... - Publisher's version
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Copyright © 2023 Anne-Wil Harzing. All rights reserved. Page last modified on Sun 2 Apr 2023 07:54
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.