Last week we covered the launch of Google Scholar Citations, which is Google’s attempt at producing a simple way for academics to compute citation metrics and track them over time. Currently in limited launch with only a very small number of exclusive users, Jane Tinkler and the LSE Impact team bring you a first look at Google Scholar Citations, commenting on its advantages and limits.
How does the not-quite launched Google Scholar Citations compare to other citation analysis software? Well, I got the chance to find out and the quick verdict is that the new facility looks distinctly promising. The nice people from Google signed me up so that the LSE Impacts team could assess how Citations is shaping up. When I logged in, I was asked to provide an institutional email for verification (as opposed to my gmail email that I had to provide to get access to the software). I then was asked to provide a prompt on my research area.
The next screen already seemed to have grouped publications linked to my surname and I was given two options: one set of publications that were by me and another set by a different J Tinkler who seemed to be writing mainly in the medical sciences. I selected the correct set of publications and my profile was created (see image below). I then added a photo and also enabled my profile to be publicly available.
My new public profile on Google Scholar Citations
As you can see the profile lists all of your publications, with the most cited ones first, gives the number of cites, and the year of publication. It also calculates my h-index score and a new score, my i-10 index (the number of publications with at least 10 citations).
The layout is clear, easy to follow and the inclusion of the photo capability and the graph of cites by year are very nice touches. It would be easy to remove items that are incorrectly included and the notes pages highlight that it is possible to add references that should be linked to me but are not currently.
In Scholar, as opposed to traditional citation databases like Web of Knowledge, all types of publication are included: journal articles, books, conference papers and blog posts. For my co-authored book though, the link runs through to a Google Scholar citation reference, rather than the much fuller Google Book listing. My recent blog posts are shown but only because these are deposited in the LSE’s online research resource, rather than being directly picked up via the British Politics and Policy blog where they were first published.
When Citations is fully open, and other academics have also completed their profiles, it will be easy to link through to my co-authors. It will be interesting to see if this enables me to pick up some citation counts that have been only attributed to the lead author on a publication due to incorrect or shortened referencing.
So overall, the new facility looks as if it will be popular. It is simple, easy to read and many academics are going to want to build a profile in it.
Yes, I agree that Scholar Citations will be very popular with scholars. I hope though that the Google Scholar team will be open to suggestions to provide as much flexibility as possible with citation counts and export functionality. For example, cites per paper, both for individual authors and research fields, from which we can calculate benchmarks, and the ability to export into Excel for further data manipulation.
I’m looking forward to the launch and the reaction by authors at my institution.
Thanks for the comment Pat. We are in close touch with the folks at Google in USA who are running the Google Scholar Citations trial, and so we will be sure pass on your comments to them, along with any others that readers want to make. So send us your reactions!
Could you tell us how it really compares with Harzing Publish or Perish ? From your screenshot, Publish or Perish seems to be more detailed…