13.2.4 Google Scholar results are limited to the 1000 most cited papers

Google Scholar limits the results of any search to the 1000 most cited papers. This is generally not a problem for author searches as there are few authors who have published more than 1000 papers, even if one includes papers that are double-counted. Moreover, even if they had, the papers that are not listed would generally have no citations or a very limited number of citations.

On the other hand, the upper limit can present problems for journal searches as many journals will have published more than 1000 papers over their life-time. Again though, this will not generally impact the h-index or g-index. However, it will impact metrics that are dependent on the number of papers such as citations per paper. Citations per paper would be overestimated for journals that have published more than 1000 papers as their least-cited papers would be omitted.

This is one of the reasons why in Section 12.2.1 I cautioned against the use of citations per paper as a metric to evaluate journal impact. However, one can accommodate the 100 paper limitation to some extent by limiting the journal search to a specific time period. In any case, it would be better to compare journals over a specific time period to avoid an unfair comparison between younger and older journals.

For example, when I searched for The Academy of Management Journal without a year limitation, the least-cited papers had 21 citations and papers from 2008 onwards were not included (presumably because they have fewer citations). When I limited the search to the last 10 years, there were some 200 papers without any citations and there was a good spread of papers for each of the ten year.