, Volume 112, Issue 2, pp 917–925 | Cite as

Relative visibility of authors’ publications in different information services

  • Isabelle DorschEmail author


Publication hit lists of authors, institutes, scientific disciplines etc. within scientific databases like Web of Science or Scopus are often used as a basis for scientometric analyses and evaluations of these authors, institutes etc. However, such information services do not necessarily cover all publications of an author. The purpose of this article is to introduce a re-interpreted scientometric indicator called “visibility,” which is the share of the number of an author’s publications on a certain information service relative to the author’s entire œuvre based upon his/her probably complete personal publication list. To demonstrate how the indicator works, scientific publications (from 2001 to 2015) of the information scientists Blaise Cronin (N = 167) and Wolfgang G. Stock (N = 152) were collected and compared with their publication counts in the scientific information services ACM, ECONIS, Google Scholar, IEEE Xplore, Infodata eDepot, LISTA, Scopus, and Web of Science, as well as the social media services Mendeley and ResearchGate. For almost all information services, the visibility amounts to less than 50%. The introduced indicator represents a more realistic view of an author’s visibility in databases than the currently applied absolute number of hits in those databases.


Information service Methodology Personal publication lists Publication analysis Relative visibility Scientometric indicator Visibility 



The author would like to thank Stefanie Haustein for the access to the Web of Science core collection. Special thanks go to the reviewers. I am very grateful for your feedback and new insights for this study.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Heinrich Heine University DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

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