16 February 2012

Research Impact via Google Scholar Data

For the last two weeks I have relocated temporarily to the research office to assist with preparation for ERA 2012. Although not essential to the ERA preparation, one of the tools that has come into my view is Harzing's Publish or Perish.

This is a fairly simple application that uses data from Google Scholar to calculate citation counts, cites/year, and a number of indices for research impact. Since research repositories tend to be very well covered by Google and Google Scholar it's interesting to see the number of article publishers that are repositories rather than publishing companies.

Breaking the ice

Sorting the list by title it's easy to see the duplication of articles across the publisher and the repositories. It would be interesting to look into the number of citations of repository vs publisher entries, especially where the repository version is an open-access article. But I will leave that for others to do. Another complication for tracking down true impact results for an article is the additional duplication of records for an article across multiple repositories where authors move from one institution to another, and where authors of one article are spread across multiple institutions.

It looks handy for tracking down publications that might not be well-covered in databases that focus on the traditional research outputs, but that are indexed in Google Scholar.

Entries in the list can be deselected from the calculations. Both statistics and citations can be copied to the clipboard as csv, txt and in a format pasteable in Excel.

Patrick Dunleavy posted a step-by-step guide for use of the application.

Image by MarcelGermain Photo license: AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved