Does Microsoft Academic find early citations?

Abstract

This article investigates whether Microsoft Academic can use its web search component to identify early citations to recently published articles to help solve the problem of delays in research evaluations caused by the need to wait for citation counts to accrue. The results for 44,398 articles in Nature, Science and seven library and information science journals 1996–2017 show that Microsoft Academic and Scopus citation counts are similar for all years, with no early citation advantage for either. In contrast, Mendeley reader counts are substantially higher for more recent articles. Thus, Microsoft Academic appears to be broadly like Scopus for citation count data, and is apparently not more able to take advantage of online preprints to find early citations.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. Carlson, S. (2006). Challenging Google, Microsoft unveils a search tool for scholarly articles. Chronicle of Higher Education. 52(33), A43. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ773667.

  2. Chen, A. (2017). Academic Knowledge API. http://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/cognitive-services/academic-knowledge/home.

  3. Falagas, M. E., Pitsouni, E. I., Malietzis, G. A., & Pappas, G. (2008). Comparison of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar: strengths and weaknesses. The FASEB Journal, 22(2), 338–342.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Harzing, A. W. (2007). Publish or perish. http://www.harzing.com/pop.htm.

  5. Harzing, A. W. (2014). A longitudinal study of Google Scholar coverage between 2012 and 2013. Scientometrics, 98(1), 565–575.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Harzing, A. W. (2016). Microsoft Academic (Search): A Phoenix arisen from the ashes? Scientometrics, 108(3), 1637–1647.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 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 

  8. Harzing, A. W., & Alakangas, S. (2017a). Microsoft Academic: Is the phoenix getting wings? Scientometrics, 110(1), 371–383.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Harzing, A. W., & Alakangas, S. (2017b). Microsoft Academic is 1 year old: The Phoenix is ready to leave the nest. Scientometrics, 112(3), 1887–1894.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Hug, S. E., & Brändle, M. P. (2017). The coverage of Microsoft Academic: Analyzing the publication output of a university. Scientometrics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-017-2535-3.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Hug, S. E., Ochsner, M., & Brändle, M. P. (2017). Citation analysis with Microsoft Academic. Scientometrics, 111(1), 371–378.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 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 

  13. Larivière, V., Archambault, É., & Gingras, Y. (2008). Long-term variations in the aging of scientific literature: From exponential growth to steady-state science (1900–2004). Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 59(2), 288–296.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Li, X., Thelwall, M., & Giustini, D. (2011). Validating online reference managers for scholarly impact measurement. Scientometrics, 91(2), 461–471.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Maflahi, N., & Thelwall, M. (2017). How quickly do publications get read the evolution of Mendeley reader counts for new articles. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.23909.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Microsoft (2017a). Why a new site? http://web.archive.org/web/20170105184616/http://academic.microsoft.com/FAQ.

  17. Microsoft (2017b). What’s new in version 2.0? http://academic.microsoft.com/#/faq. Accessed 1 Aug 2017.

  18. Moed, H. F., Bar-Ilan, J., & Halevi, G. (2016). A new methodology for comparing Google Scholar and Scopus. Journal of Informetrics, 10(2), 533–551.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Mongeon, P., & Paul-Hus, A. (2016). The journal coverage of Web of Science and Scopus: A comparative analysis. Scientometrics, 106(1), 213–228.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Orduña-Malea, E., Martín-Martín, A., Ayllon, M., Delgado, J., & 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 

  21. 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 

  22. Science-Metrix (2015). Analysis of bibliometric indicators for European policies 2000–2013. http://ec.europa.eu/research/innovationunion/pdf/bibliometric_indicators_for_european_policies.pdf.

  23. Sinha, A., Shen, Z., Song, Y., Ma, H., Eide, D., Hsu, B. J. P., & Wang, K. (2015). An overview of Microsoft Academic service (mas) and applications. In Proceedings of the 24th international conference on world wide web (pp. 243–246). New York, NY: ACM Press.

  24. Sud, P., & Thelwall, M. (2014). Evaluating altmetrics. Scientometrics, 98(2), 1131–1143. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-013-1117-2.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Thelwall, M. (2016). Interpreting correlations between citation counts and other indicators. Scientometrics, 108(1), 337–347.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Thelwall, M. (2017a). Are Mendeley reader counts high enough for research evaluations when articles are published? Aslib Journal of Information Management, 69(2), 174–183. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-01-2017-0028.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Thelwall, M. (2017b). Three practical field normalised alternative indicator formulae for research evaluation. Journal of Informetrics, 11(1), 128–151. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joi.2016.12.002.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Thelwall, M., & Fairclough, R. (2015). Geometric journal impact factors correcting for individual highly cited articles. Journal of Informetrics, 9(2), 263–272.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Thelwall, M., & Sud, P. (2016). Mendeley readership counts: An investigation of temporal and disciplinary differences. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 57(6), 3036–3050. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.2355.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Waltman, L., van Eck, N. J., van Leeuwen, T. N., Visser, M. S., & van Raan, A. F. (2011). Towards a new crown indicator: An empirical analysis. Scientometrics, 87(3), 467–481.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Wang, J. (2013). Citation time window choice for research impact evaluation. Scientometrics, 94(3), 851–872.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Zahedi, Z., Haustein, S. & Bowman, T (2014). Exploring data quality and retrieval strategies for Mendeley reader counts. In Presentation at SIGMET Metrics 2014 workshop, 5 November 2014. Available: http://www.slideshare.net/StefanieHaustein/sigmetworkshop-asist2014.

  33. Zitt, M. (2012). The journal impact factor: Angel, devil, or scapegoat? A comment on JK Vanclay’s article 2011. Scientometrics, 92(2), 485–503.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mike Thelwall.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Thelwall, M. Does Microsoft Academic find early citations?. Scientometrics 114, 325–334 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-017-2558-9

Download citation

Keywords

  • Microsoft Academic
  • Google Scholar
  • Mendeley
  • Citation analysis
  • Early citations