Skip to main content
Log in

Microsoft Academic (Search): a Phoenix arisen from the ashes?

  • Published:
Scientometrics Aims and scope Submit manuscript


In comparison to the many dozens of articles reviewing and comparing (coverage of) the Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar, the bibliometric research community has paid very little attention to Microsoft Academic Search (MAS). An important reason for the bibliometric community’s lack of enthusiasm might have been that MAS coverage was fairly limited, and that almost no new coverage had been added since 2012. Recently, however, Microsoft introduced a new service—Microsoft Academic—built on content that search engine Bing crawls from the web. This article assesses Microsoft Academic coverage through a detailed comparison of the publication and citation record of a single academic for each the four main citation databases: Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, the Web of Science, and Scopus. Overall, this first small-scale case study suggests that the new incarnation of Microsoft Academic presents us with an excellent alternative for citation analysis. If our findings can be confirmed by larger-scale studies, Microsoft Academic might well turn out to combine the advantages of broader coverage, as displayed by Google Scholar, with the advantages of a more structured approach to data presentation, typical of Scopus and the Web of Science. If so, the new Microsoft Academic service would truly be a Phoenix arisen from the ashes.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2


  1. Interestingly, this journal has been listed in Scopus since its first issue in 2001.

  2. This is likely to change as Scopus has recently made a firm commitment to further expand its coverage of pre-1996 publications and citations (Chrysomallis 2014).


  • Chrysomallis, M. (2014). Scopus continues to add pre-1996 citations (Web log post). Accessed 21 May 2016.

  • Delgado-López-Cózar, E., & Repiso-Caballero, R. (2013). El impacto de las revistas de comunicación: comparando Google Scholar Metrics Web of Science y Scopus. Comunicar: Revista Científica de Comunicación y Educación, 21(41), 45–52.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Haley, M. R. (2014). Ranking top economics and finance journals using Microsoft academic search versus Google scholar: How does the new publish or perish option compare? Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 65(5), 1079–1084.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harzing, A. W. (2007). Publish or Perish. Available from

  • Harzing, A. W., & Alakangas, S. (2016). Google Scholar, scopus and the web of science: A longitudinal and cross-disciplinary comparison. Scientometrics, 106(2), 787–804.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harzing, A. W., Alakangas, S., & Adams, D. (2014). hIa: An individual annual h-index to accommodate disciplinary and career length differences. Scientometrics, 99(3), 811–821.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jacsó, P. (2011). The pros and cons of Microsoft Academic Search from a bibliometric perspective. Online Information Review, 35(6), 983–997.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Orduña-Malea, E., Martín-Martín, A., Ayllon, J. M., & Delgado Lopez-Cozar, E. (2014). The silent fading of an academic search engine: the case of Microsoft Academic Search. Online Information Review, 38(7), 936–953.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ortega, J. L. (2014). Influence of co-authorship networks in the research impact: Ego network analyses from Microsoft Academic Search. Journal of Informetrics, 8(3), 728–737.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ortega, J. L., & Aguillo, I. F. (2014). Microsoft academic search and Google scholar citations: Comparative analysis of author profiles. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 65(6), 1149–1156.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Van Noorden, R. (2014). The decline and fall of Microsoft Academic Search (Web log post). Accessed 21 May 2016.

  • Wildgaard, L. (2015). A comparison of 17 author-level bibliometric indicators for researchers in Astronomy, environmental science, philosophy and public health in web of science and google scholar. Scientometrics, 104(3), 1–34.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anne-Wil Harzing.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Harzing, AW. Microsoft Academic (Search): a Phoenix arisen from the ashes?. Scientometrics 108, 1637–1647 (2016).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: