Chapter 14: Evaluating Thomson ISI web of Science
Thomsons ISI Web of Science, often called ISI for short, has been the traditional data source for citation analysis. It was established by Eugene Garfield in the 1960s and has had a virtual monopoly in this field until the arrival of Google Scholar and Scopus in 2004. For many universities it is still seen as the gold standard of citation analysis.
Below I discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the ISI Web of Science in more detail. This chapter provides a fairly critical analysis of Thomson ISI's Web of Science. I do not in any way mean to imply that this data source doesn't have a useful place in bibliometric analysis. However, given the high fees that are charged for its use and its dominant position, I feel it is only fair to have high expectations of its accuracy and comprehensiveness.
- 14.1 Advantages of Thomsons ISI web of science
- 14.1.1 More complex and focused search options
- 14.1.2 Ability to filter and refine queries
- 14.1.3 Ability to analyze results
- 14.1.4 A somewhat higher data quality
- 14.2 Disadvantages of ISI's Web of Science
- 14.2.1 Thomson ISI underestimates citation impact
- 14.2.2 Accurate self-citation counts are difficult to achieve in ISI
- 14.2.3 Stray citations are very common in ISI
- 14.2.4 ISI suffers from document type classification problems
- 14.3 References