1.5.3 Part 3: Advanced topics: delving deeper into the world of citation analysis

Part 3 of this book deals with more specialized topics. In Chapters 13 and 14, it first provides a detailed evaluation of the two main data sources for citation analysis: Google Scholar and Thomson ISI's Web of Science. I show that Google Scholar's advantages mainly lie in being a free, easy-to-use, quick and comprehensive source of citation analysis, with its disadvantages related to not being a structured bibliographic database.

ISI's main advantages lie in the fact that, as a traditional bibliographic database, it allows more complex and focused search options, the option to filter and refine queries, and further analyze results. ISI's most important disadvantage lies in its lack of comprehensive coverage, resulting in an often serious underestimation of citation impact. In addition, ISI has a number of idiosyncrasies: difficulty in reliably establishing self-citations, poor handling of stray citations, and frequent misclassification of original research articles as review articles and proceedings articles.

Chapter 15 proposes an alternative to the traditionally used ISI Journal Impact Factor (JIF) to evaluate journals. It proposes both an alternative metric Hirsch's h-index and data source Google Scholar to assess journal impact. Using a comparison between the Google Scholar h-index and the ISI JIF for a sample of 838 journals in Economics & Business, I argue that the former provides a more accurate and comprehensive measure of journal impact.

Finally, Chapter 16 shows how different data sources and citation metrics impact on comparisons of academics between disciplines. This chapter analyses the citation records of ten full professors in a variety of disciplines to illustrate how different data sources and different citations metrics might lead to very different conclusions.