Discussion: Two new kids on the block: How do Crossref and Dimensions compare with Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, Scopus and the Web of Science?

Discussion: Two new kids on the block: How do Crossref and Dimensions compare with Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, Scopus and the Web of Science?  

  By: Andy Nobes on May 16, 2019, 9:17 p.m.

This is our journal paper for discussion over the next couple of weeks.

The paper for this fortnight is a brand new hot-off-the-press article in Scientometrics:

"Two new kids on the block: How do Crossref and Dimensions compare with Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, Scopus and the Web of Science?" Anne-Wil Harzing
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11192-019-03114-y (open access version from the author's website is attached)

This paper is a good way of getting ourselves familiar with the best known indexing/citation databases, whilst keeping on top of new developments.  Let's read the paper and try to answer some or all of the following questions:

  • What 3 things did you learn from the paper?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the paper?
  • What is the quality of the evidence? (methods, data, analysis)
  • Do you agree with the conclusion?
  • How might the findings apply for your work or research?

Please post your review below (remember that this forum requires an AuthorAID account to post and reply).

If you have any quick questions or problems, please ask in the WhatsApp group.

Thanks

Andy

Andy Nobes

Forum Administrator


 Last edited by: Andy Nobes on May 16, 2019, 9:48 p.m., edited 1 time in total.

Re: Discussion: Two new kids on the block: How do Crossref and Dimensions compare with Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, Scopus and the Web of Science?  

  By: Andy Nobes on May 30, 2019, 10:44 p.m.

Ok, here is my short paper review:

This is a useful short paper on academic databases which sheds light on the newish sources (Dimensions, Crossref) and and interesting comparison between six sources, old and new

What 3 things did you learn from the paper?

  • I wasn't really aware of Microsoft Academic, and had heard about Dimensions, but hadn't taken it very seriously. I wasn't aware that Crossref provided open citation data (I should really have known this, as I know people who work for them!).
  • It also seems that Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic are really good for recording books, conference papers, no-traditional outputs.
  • The four 'free' databases record entries much quicker that Scopus or WoS - within weeks of publication

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the paper?

  • Strengths: Useful references to studies on WoS and Scopus. Interesting to see the difference between the databases on what types of literature are recorded, with WoS having the least literature and therefore fewest citations. I am likely to refer back to this paper in future work.
  • Weaknesses: could have introduced the subject better for beginners (e.g. what are WoS, Scopus etc. and why are they limited in size?). Quite confusing at the beginning as it stepped back and forth between the different databases. I also didn't like graphics being landscape as it made it very difficult to read on my screen!

What is the quality of the evidence? (methods, data, analysis)

  • Study size is quite small, but there is a good reason for this as an initial study, and as authors says, this shows the practical use for an author checking on their academic publications in each database. I thought it was good to also study the small group of journals in the same way, although this too was a very small thematically-limited sample.
  • The author used her own software ('Publish or Perish') and publication record, which some might find strange

Do you agree with the conclusion?
Yes, but not sure you can call some databases 'better' just because they record more data - it's not this simple is it?. What about the reasons why WoS and Scopus are smaller databases? Is it due to quality, more rigorous criteria? What about other criticisms in the literature about Google Scholar as having poor quality data?

How might the findings apply for your work or research?

I will definately consider, and refer to Dimensions and Crossref open citation data in the future. I will refer back to this paper.

I look forward to larger studies which compare these databases!

Andy

Andy Nobes

Forum Administrator