A longitudinal study of Google Scholar coverage between 2012 and 2013
Harzing (Scientometrics, 2013) showed that between April 2011 and January 2012, Google Scholar has very significantly expanded its coverage in Chemistry and Physics, with a more modest expansion for Medicine and a natural increase in citations only for Economics. However, we do not yet know whether this expansion of coverage was temporary or permanent, nor whether a further expansion of coverage has occurred. It is these questions we set out to respond in this research note. We use a sample of 20 Nobelists in Chemistry, Economics, Medicine and Physics and track their h-index, g-index and total citations in Google Scholar on a monthly basis. Our data suggest that—after a period of significant expansion for Chemistry and Physics—Google Scholar coverage is now increasing at a stable rate. Google Scholar also appears to provide comprehensive coverage for the four disciplines we studied. The increased stability and coverage might make Google Scholar much more suitable for research evaluation and bibliometric research purposes than it has been in the past.
KeywordsGoogle scholar Citations Web of science h-Index g-Index Social sciences
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