Do Google Scholar, Scopus and the Web of Science speak your language?
Short summary of white paper on the coverage of non-English language publications in three major databases for citation analysis
Figure 1: Comparing the average h-index of Anglophone and non-Anglophone scholars across three data-bases
The fact that GoogleScholar provides a more comprehensive coverage of publications and citations in the Social Sciences than Scopus or the Web of Science is well-known. My earlier white papers Sacrifice a little accuracy for a lot more comprehensive coverage and From h-index to hIa: The ins and outs of research metrics provide a good overview of this. My latest white paper Do Google Scholar, Scopus and the Web of Science speak your language? looks specifically at the extent to which the different data-bases cover scholarship in languages other than English.
The conclusion is clear: Whereas Google Scholar is decidedly multi-lingual, “speaking” French, German, and Portuguese (as well as many other languages), both the Web of Science and Scopus are much more mono-lingual. As a result - as Figure 1 shows - non-Anglophone research are almost completely invisible in the latter two databases.
Other articles on the same themes
- Harzing, A.W.; Alakangas, S.; Adams, D. (2014) hIa: An individual annual h-index to accommodate disciplinary and career length differences, Scientometrics, vol. 99, no. 3, pp. 811-821. Available online... - Publisher's version (read for free) - Related blog post
- Harzing, A.W.; Mijnhardt, W. (2015) Proof over promise: Towards a more inclusive ranking of Dutch academics in Economics & Business, Scientometrics, vol. 102, no. 1, pp. 727-749. Available online... - Publisher's version (read for free) - Related blog post
- 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) - Related blog post - [Press coverage in The Times and the Times Higher Education].
- 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) - Related blog post - Presentation slides - Video presentation of this article - Blog post - ESI top 1% most Highly Cited Paper - ESI hot paper
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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.