Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus: a systematic comparison of citations in 252 subject categories
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractDespite citation counts from Google Scholar (GS), Web of Science (WoS), and Scopus being widely consulted by researchers and sometimes used in research evaluations, there is no recent or systematic evidence about the differences between them. In response, this paper investigates 2,448,055 citations to 2299 English-language highly-cited documents from 252 GS subject categories published in 2006, comparing GS, the WoS Core Collection, and Scopus. GS consistently found the largest percentage of citations across all areas (93%–96%), far ahead of Scopus (35%–77%) and WoS (27%–73%). GS found nearly all the WoS (95%) and Scopus (92%) citations. Most citations found only by GS were from non-journal sources (48%–65%), including theses, books, conference papers, and unpublished materials. Many were non-English (19%–38%), and they tended to be much less cited than citing sources that were also in Scopus or WoS. Despite the many unique GS citing sources, Spearman correlations between citation counts in GS and WoS or Scopus are high (0.78-0.99). They are lower in the Humanities, and lower between GS and WoS than between GS and Scopus. The results suggest that in all areas GS citation data is essentially a superset of WoS and Scopus, with substantial extra coverage.
CitationMartín-Martín, A., Orduña-Malea, E., Thelwall, M., & López-Cózar, E.D. (2018). Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus: a systematic comparison of citations in 252 subject categories. Journal of Informetrics, 12 (4), pp 1160-1177.
JournalJournal of Informetrics
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Elsevier in Journal of Informetrics on 05/10/2018, available online: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joi.2018.09.002 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/