The pros and cons of computing the h‐index using Google Scholar

The pros and cons of computing the h‐index using Google Scholar Purpose – A previous paper by the present author described the pros and cons of using the three largest cited reference enhanced multidisciplinary databases and discussed and illustrated in general how the theoretically sound idea of the h‐index may become distorted depending on the software and the content of the database(s) used, and the searchers' skill and knowledge of the database features. The aim of this paper is to focus on Google Scholar (GS), from the perspective of calculating the h‐index for individuals and journals. Design/methodology/approach – A desk‐based approach to data collection is used and critical commentary is added. Findings – The paper shows that effective corroboration of the h‐index and its two component indicators can be done only on persons and journals with which a researcher is intimately familiar. Corroborative tests must be done in every database for important research. Originality/value – The paper highlights the very time‐consuming process of corroborating data, tracing and counting valid citations and points out GS's unscholarly and irresponsible handling of data. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Online Information Review Emerald Publishing

The pros and cons of computing the h‐index using Google Scholar

Online Information Review, Volume 32 (3): 16 – Jun 20, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1468-4527
DOI
10.1108/14684520810889718
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – A previous paper by the present author described the pros and cons of using the three largest cited reference enhanced multidisciplinary databases and discussed and illustrated in general how the theoretically sound idea of the h‐index may become distorted depending on the software and the content of the database(s) used, and the searchers' skill and knowledge of the database features. The aim of this paper is to focus on Google Scholar (GS), from the perspective of calculating the h‐index for individuals and journals. Design/methodology/approach – A desk‐based approach to data collection is used and critical commentary is added. Findings – The paper shows that effective corroboration of the h‐index and its two component indicators can be done only on persons and journals with which a researcher is intimately familiar. Corroborative tests must be done in every database for important research. Originality/value – The paper highlights the very time‐consuming process of corroborating data, tracing and counting valid citations and points out GS's unscholarly and irresponsible handling of data.

Journal

Online Information ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 20, 2008

Keywords: Databases; Information retrieval; Search engines; Referencing

References

  • Using the h‐Index to rank influential British researchers in information science and librarianship
    Oppenheim, C.
  • Revisiting h measured on UK LIS and IR academics
    Sanderson, M.
  • On the robustness of the h‐index
    Vanclay, J.

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