ResearchGate versus Google Scholar: Which finds more early citations?

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Mike Thelwall.

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Thelwall, M., Kousha, K. ResearchGate versus Google Scholar: Which finds more early citations?. Scientometrics 112, 1125–1131 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-017-2400-4

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Keywords

  • ResearchGate
  • Early impact
  • Citation analysis
  • Altmetrics
  • Academic social network sites