ResearchGate versus Google Scholar: Which finds more early citations?
ResearchGate has launched its own citation index by extracting citations from documents uploaded to the site and reporting citation counts on article profile pages. Since authors may upload preprints to ResearchGate, it may use these to provide early impact evidence for new papers. This article assesses the whether the number of citations found for recent articles is comparable to other citation indexes using 2675 recently-published library and information science articles. The results show that in March 2017, ResearchGate found less citations than did Google Scholar but more than both Web of Science and Scopus. This held true for the dataset overall and for the six largest journals in it. ResearchGate correlated most strongly with Google Scholar citations, suggesting that ResearchGate is not predominantly tapping a fundamentally different source of data than Google Scholar. Nevertheless, preprint sharing in ResearchGate is substantial enough for authors to take seriously.
KeywordsResearchGate Early impact Citation analysis Altmetrics Academic social network sites
- Halevi, G., & Moed, H. F. (2014). Usage patterns of scientific journals and their relationship with citations. In Proceedings of the Science and Technology Indicators Conference 2014 (STI 2014), Leiden, Netherlands (pp. 241–251).Google Scholar
- Jamali, H. R. (in press). Copyright compliance and infringement in ResearchGate full-text journal articles. Scientometrics. doi: 10.1007/s11192-017-2291-4.
- Jordan, K. (2017). Understanding the structure and role of academics’ ego-networks on social networking sites. Ph.D. thesis, The Open University. http://oro.open.ac.uk/48259/.
- Memon, A. R. (2016). ResearchGate is no longer reliable: Leniency towards ghost journals may decrease its impact on the scientific community. Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, 66(12), 1643–1647.Google Scholar
- Priem, J., Taraborelli, D., Groth, P., & Neylon, C. (2010). Altmetrics: A manifesto. http://altmetrics.org/manifesto/.
- ResearchGate. (2009). Self-archiving repository goes online. https://www.researchgate.net/blog/post/self-archiving-repository-goes-online.
- ResearchGate. (2013). Introducing citations on ResearchGate. ResearchGate blog (7 February 2013). https://www.researchgate.net/blog/post/introducing-citations-on-researchgate.
- ResearchGate. (2016). Introducing the h-index on ResearchGate. ResearchGate blog (8 March 2016). https://www.researchgate.net/blog/post/introducing-the-h-index-on-researchgate.
- Thelwall, M., & Fairclough, R. (in press). The accuracy of confidence intervals for field normalised indicators. Journal of Informetrics. doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2017.03.004.