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The journal coverage of Web of Science and Scopus: a comparative analysis
Abstract
Bibliometric methods are used in multiple fields for a variety of purposes, namely for research evaluation. Most bibliometric analyses have in common their data sources: Thomson Reuters' Web of Science (WoS) and Elsevier's Scopus. The objective of this research is to describe the journal coverage of those two databases and to assess whether some field, publishing country and language are over or underrepresented. To do this we compared the coverage of active scholarly journals in WoS (13,605 journals) and Scopus (20,346 journals) with Ulrich's extensive periodical directory (63,013 journals). Results indicate that the use of either WoS or Scopus for research evaluation may introduce biases that favor Natural Sciences and Engineering as well as Biomedical Research to the detriment of Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities. Similarly, English-language journals are overrepresented to the detriment of other languages. While both databases share these biases, their coverage differs substantially. As a consequence, the results of bibliometric analyses may vary depending on the database used. These results imply that in the context of comparative research evaluation, WoS and Scopus should be used with caution, especially when comparing different fields, institutions, countries or languages. The bibliometric community should continue its efforts to develop methods and indicators that include scientific output that are not covered in WoS or Scopus, such as field-specific and national citation indexes.
  • References (26)
  • Cited By (158)
N. Board1
Estimated H-index: 1
Cited 2229
Philip Barnett2
Estimated H-index: 2
,
Claudia Lascar3
Estimated H-index: 3
The current journal titles in earth and atmospheric sciences, that are unique to each of two databases, Web of Science and Scopus, were identified using different methods. Comparing by subject category shows that Scopus has hundreds of unique titles, and Web of Science just 16. The titles unique to each database have low SCImago Journal Rank Indicators (Scopus) and Impact Factors (Web of Science), thus indicating that the unique titles play a minor role within this discipline. An author affiliat...
Ref 17Cited 3
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Yves Gingras30
Estimated H-index: 30
(Institut national de la recherche agronomique)
Yves Gingras denonce ici l’utilisation a contre-emploi des indicateurs bibliometriques dans l’evaluation de la recherche scientifique, en s’appuyant sur son dernier ouvrage « Les derives de l’evaluation dans la recherche, du bon usage de la bibliometrie ». L’evaluation s’est en effet emparee d’indicateurs comme le nombre de publications scientifiques et les indices de citations (Science Citation Index) pour mesurer la productivite et la performance des chercheurs, des laboratoires ou des univers...
Ref 1Cited 8
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2015 in PLOS ONE
Vincent Larivière36
Estimated H-index: 36
(Université de Montréal),
Stefanie Haustein18
Estimated H-index: 18
(Université de Montréal),
Philippe Mongeon8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Université de Montréal)
The consolidation of the scientific publishing industry has been the topic of much debate within and outside the scientific community, especially in relation to major publishers’ high profit margins. However, the share of scientific output published in the journals of these major publishers, as well as its evolution over time and across various disciplines, has not yet been analyzed. This paper provides such analysis, based on 45 million documents indexed in the Web of Science over the period 19...
Ref 37Cited 121
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2010 in Scientometrics [IF: 2.15]
Massimo Franceschet20
Estimated H-index: 20
(University of Udine)
Given the current availability of different bibliometric indicators and of production and citation data sources, the following two questions immediately arise: do the indicators’ scores differ when computed on different data sources? More importantly, do the indicator-based rankings significantly change when computed on different data sources? We provide a case study for computer science scholars and journals evaluated on Web of Science and Google Scholar databases. The study concludes that Goog...
Ref 33Cited 100
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2010 in Scientometrics [IF: 2.15]
Susanne Mikki6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Bergen)
In order to measure the degree to which Google Scholar can compete with bibliographical databases, search results from this database is compared with Thomson’s ISI WoS (Institute for Scientific Information, Web of Science). For earth science literature 85% of documents indexed by ISI WoS were recalled by Google Scholar. The rank of records displayed in Google Scholar and ISI WoS, is compared by means of Spearman’s footrule. For impact measures the h-index is investigated. Similarities in measure...
Ref 13Cited 47
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En analysant la naissance du Science Citation Index (SCI), cet article montre que le principe consistant a indexer les citations n’est pas une creation « naturelle » de l’univers scientifique lui-meme. C’est Eugene Garfield un entrepreneur specialise dans le domaine de l’information qui a transpose a la science un principe initialement applique, aux Etats-Unis, a la litterature juridique. La creation du SCI et le developpement de la scientometrie qui en a resulte, ont ete fortement marques par l...
Cited 2
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Wolfgang Glänzel9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Max Planck Society),
Urs Schoepflin10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Max Planck Society)
Abstract In earlier papers the authors focused on differences in the ageing of journal literature in science and the social sciences. It was shown that for several fields and topics bibliometric standard indicators based on journal articles need to be modified in order to provide valid results. In fields where monographs, books or reports are important means of scientific information, standard models of scientific communication are not reflected by journal literature alone. To identify fields wh...
Ref 12Cited 147
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2010 in Scientometrics [IF: 2.15]
John Mingers51
Estimated H-index: 51
(University of Kent),
Evangelia Lipitakis2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Kent)
Assessing the quality of the knowledge produced by business and management academics is increasingly being metricated. Moreover, emphasis is being placed on the impact of the research rather than simply where it is published. The main metric for impact is the number of citations a paper receives. Traditionally this data has come from the ISI Web of Science but research has shown that this has poor coverage in the social sciences. A newer and different source for citations is Google Scholar. In t...
Ref 15Cited 86
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2013 in Scientometrics [IF: 2.15]
A. Abrizah11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Information Technology University),
A.N. Zainab13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Information Technology University),
K. Kiran2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Information Technology University)
... more
The study compares the coverage, ranking, impact and subject categorization of Library and Information Science journals, specifically, 79 titles based on data from Web of Science (WoS) and 128 titles from Scopus. Comparisons were made based on prestige factor scores reported in 2010 Journal Citation Reports and SCImago Journal Rank 2010 and noting the change in ranking when the differences are calculated. The rank normalized impact factor and the Library of Congress Classification System were us...
Ref 31Cited 47
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  • References (26)
  • Cited By (158)
2016 in Journal of Informetrics [IF: 2.92]
Ludo Waltman34
Estimated H-index: 34
(Leiden University)
Citation impact indicators nowadays play an important role in research evaluation, and consequently these indicators have received a lot of attention in the bibliometric and scientometric literature. This paper provides an in-depth review of the literature on citation impact indicators. First, an overview is given of the literature on bibliographic databases that can be used to calculate citation impact indicators (Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar). Next, selected topics in the literat...
Ref 350Cited 159
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2016 in Journal of Informetrics [IF: 2.92]
Qi Wang1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Royal Institute of Technology),
Ludo Waltman34
Estimated H-index: 34
(Leiden University)
Journal classification systems play an important role in bibliometric analyses. The two most important bibliographic databases, Web of Science and Scopus, each provide a journal classification system. However, no study has systematically investigated the accuracy of these classification systems. To examine and compare the accuracy of journal classification systems, we define two criteria on the basis of direct citation relations between journals and categories. We use Criterion I to select journ...
Ref 42Cited 31
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Philippe Mongeon8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Université de Montréal),
Christine Brodeur1
Estimated H-index: 1
(École Polytechnique de Montréal),
Catherine Beaudry12
Estimated H-index: 12
(École Polytechnique de Montréal)
... more
In most countries, basic research is supported by research councils that select, after peer review, the individuals or teams that are to receive funding. Unfortunately, the number of grants these research councils can allocate is not infinite and, in most cases, a minority of the researchers receive the majority of the funds. However, evidence as to whether this is an optimal way of distributing available funds is mixed. The purpose of this study is to measure the relation between the amount of ...
Ref 33Cited 9
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Giovanni Colavizza4
Estimated H-index: 4
(École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne),
Matteo Romanello5
Estimated H-index: 5
(École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne),
Frédéric Kaplan26
Estimated H-index: 26
(École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)
The advent of large-scale citation services has greatly impacted the retrieval of scientific information for several domains of research. The Humanities have largely remained outside of this shift despite their increasing reliance on digital means for information seeking. Given that publications in the Humanities probably have a longer than average life-span, mainly due to the importance of monographs in the field, we propose to use domain-specific reference monographs to bootstrap the enrichmen...
Ref 19Cited 1
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2016 in PLOS ONE
Jeong-Wook Seo23
Estimated H-index: 23
(Seoul National University),
Hosik Chung2
Estimated H-index: 2
,
Jungmin Yun1
Estimated H-index: 1
(KITECH)
... more
Articles from open access and local journals are important resources for research in Korea and the usage trends of these articles are important indicators for the assessment of the current research practice. We analyzed an institutional collection of published papers from 1998 to 2014 authored by researchers from Seoul National University, and their references from papers published between 1998 and 2011. The published papers were collected from Web of Science or Scopus and were analyzed accordin...
Ref 32Cited 3
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2016 in Scientometrics [IF: 2.15]
José M. Merigó39
Estimated H-index: 39
(University of Chile),
Christian A. Cancino4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Chile),
Freddy Coronado4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Chile)
... more
Many countries are investing a lot in innovation in order to modernize their economies. A key step in this process is the development of academic research in innovation. This article analyzes the leading countries in innovation research between 1989 and 2013 from an academic perspective. The aim of the study is to identify the most relevant countries in this field and the leading trends that are occurring during the last years. The work also introduces a general perspective analyzing the researc...
Ref 51Cited 35
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Heidi Holst Madsen (University of Copenhagen), Dicte Madsen (University of Copenhagen), Marianne Gauffriau1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Copenhagen)
Unique identifiers (UID) are seen as an effective tool to create links between identical publications in databases or identify duplicates in a database. The purpose of the present study is to investigate how well UIDs work for citation linking. We have two objectives: Explore the coverage, precision, and characteristics of publications matched versus not matched with UIDs as the match key. Illustrate how publication sets formed by using UIDs as the match key may affect the bibliometric indicator...
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Nicole Holzhauser1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Braunschweig University of Technology)
Digitale bzw. digitalisierte geistes- und sozialwissenschaftliche Bucher und Fachzeitschriften sind wichtige Quellen fur die Soziologiegeschichte. In diesem Beitrag werden verschiedene Online-Datenbanken vorgestellt. Zur exemplarischen Veranschaulichung der mit ihnen verbundenen Moglichkeiten und Grenzen wird dabei in quantifizierender Analyse der Frage nachgegangen, ob der ‚Soziologie‘-Begriff sowie verwandte Begriffe wie ‚Sozialwissenschaften‘ in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus systematisch a...
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Lara Bartocci Liboni Amui2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of São Paulo),
Charbel José Chiappetta Jabbour8
Estimated H-index: 8
(University of Stirling),
Ana Beatriz Lopes de Sousa Jabbour20
Estimated H-index: 20
(University of Strathclyde)
... more
Abstract Sustainability is a managerial trend that plays an important role in the contemporary organizational strategy. A company's capability to make sustainability more dynamic and integrated with strategies, transforming it into a business asset, has yet to be studied. This process of adaptation is reflected through innovative practices. However, there is still a gap between these practices and the organization's strategies and capabilities. The aim of this work was to conduct a systematic li...
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