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Measuring the Coverage of LIS Academia in Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic: A Scientometric Comparison

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The purpose of this paper is to measure the coverage of LIS academia in Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic using scientometric indicators. The study is based on simple search queries in Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic for each LIS faculties whose information is available on the university website. The study found more coverage for Google Scholar than Microsoft Academic in all scientometric indicators used for comparison between two databases. Google Scholar based document types are quite unclear and considered as its' limitations. The study provides insight for the individual researcher and LIS departments to focus on indexing of their research in Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic.
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Abstract
The purpose of study is to measure the coverage of LIS academia
in Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic using scientometric
indicators. The study is based on simple search queries in Google
Scholar and Microsoft Academic for each LIS faculty whose
information is available on their university website. Duplicate
names for LIS faculties have been filtered by adding the extra
search string with their names and non-LIS publications have
been removed from the study. The study found more coverage
for Google Scholar than Microsoft Academic. Google Scholar
based “document types” are quite unclear and considered as its’
limitations. The study is limited to 26 LIS faculties from five Central
Universities of North-East India. The results are limited due to use
of simple search in Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic rather
than profile search. The study provides insight for the individual
researcher and LIS departments to focus on indexing of their
research in Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic.
Keywords: Research Performance, Google Scholar,
Microsoft Academic, Research Coverage, LIS Research
Measuring the Coverage of Library and
Information Science (LIS) Academia in
Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic:
A Scientometric Comparison
Sanjay Kumar Maurya*, Akhandanand Shukla**,
R. K. Ngurtinkhuma***
* Research Scholar, Department of Library & Information Science, Mizoram University, Aizawl, Mizoram, India.
Email: sanjay2015maurya@gmail.com
** Assistant Professor, Department of Library & Information Science, Mizoram University, Aizawl, Mizoram, India.
Email: akhandanandshukla@gmail.com Orcid id: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7157-5600
*** Professor, Department of Library & Information Science, Mizoram University, Aizawl, India.
Email: rkn05@rediffmail.com
Introducon
Google Scholar (GS) is a freely accessible web search
engine that provides a simple way to broadly search for
scholarly literature indexed in the form of full-text or
metadata of articles, theses, books, conference proceed-
ings, reports, etc., originated from academic publishers,
professional societies, institutional repositories and oth-
er websites. GS launched a new service called “Google
International Journal of Information Studies & Libraries
4 (2) 2019, 11-18
http://publishingindia.com/ijisl/
Scholar Citations” on 16 November 2011, which allows
researchers to create an editable, veried (using an insti-
tutional email) prole including their personal details, a
list of their papers, and citations to those papers (Bar-Ilan
et al., 2012). GS has certain advantages over other citation
databases; rstly, it covers research output from Social
Sciences and Humanities apart from Science-related sub-
jects; secondly, it covers both print and electronic jour-
nals, conference proceedings, books, theses, dissertations,
preprints, abstracts and technical reports available from
major academic publishers, distributors, aggregators, pro-
fessional societies, government agencies and pre-print/re-
print repositories at universities, as well as those available
across the web and index citation accordingly (Adriaanse
& Rensleigh, 2013; Levine-Clark & Gil, 2008; Schroeder,
2007). Microsoft Academic (MA) is a free search engine
and a new service offered by Microsoft since 2012 and
was introduced to the bibliometric research community
by Harzing (Hug et al., 2017) MA is developing at a fast
pace and is on the verge of becoming a bibliometric su-
perpower (Hug & Brändle, 2017). It has broad coverage,
structured and rich metadata and citation analysis features
as well as the social network for academics. Microsoft
Academic Search (MAS) counts citations and provides
bibliographic records grouped by authors, journals, in-
stitutions or research disciplines, with limited quality
control that is being considered for research evaluation
and scientic benchmarking (Ortega & Aguillo, 2014).
In the electronic age, the development of databases like
PubMed, Web of Science (WoS), Scopus and GS on the
12 International Journal of Information Studies & Libraries Volume 4 Issue 2 July-December 2019
World Wide Web, offering search facilities for a particu-
lar subject, author, institution and the ability to perform
citation analysis (Falagas et al., 2008). “Google and
Microsoft are rolling out free tools that will enable re-
searchers to analyse citation statistics, visualise research
networks and track the hottest research elds” (Butler,
2011). Many organisations have signed with Microsoft in
aspects of a journal article from prominent academics and
publishers; and this puts it in a direct competition with GS
(Carlson, 2006).
Interestingly, MA coverage for single academic is an
excellent alternative for citation analysis from each of
the four main citation databases available in Publish or
Perish (POP) software also. GS and MA show similarity
in citation and publication as well as both are freely
accessible (Harzing, 2016a; Harzing & Alakangas, 2017).
Thus, it will be interesting to nd the research performance
of authors based on two freely accessible databases, i.e.,
MA and GS.
Literature Review
Falagas et al. (2008) compared PubMed, Scopus, WoS
and GS for citation analysis and found Scopus has
20% more coverage than WoS while GS citation has
inconsistent accuracy and is updated infrequently. GS and
WoS show the similar result in a citation-based ranking
of scholars and journals in the eld of Computer Science,
but show a weaker correlation in h-index (Barreto et al.,
2013; Franceschet, 2010). Jacsó (2011) analysed the
content and features of MAS software along with its
shortcomings from a bibliometric perspective. Adriaanse
& Rensleigh (2013) compared three citation resources
ISI WoS, Scopus and GS and found that WoS retrieved
more citation results followed by GS and Scopus; Wos
and Scopus retrieved no duplicates and less inconsistent
than GS. Ortega & Aguillo (2014) analysed 771 personal
proles of different disciplines and found that GS citation
includes more documents and citations; also it has less
duplicated proles and more frequently updated rate
than MAS. Orduña-Malea et al. (2014) criticised MAS
because it has been not updated since 2013 and indexing
of new records is going on with a minimal rate without
following any apparent pattern. Harzing (2016a) analysed
both publication and citation coverage of MA and found
that it has less coverage than GS, similar coverage with
Scopus but more coverage than WoS. Hug & Brändle
(2017) and Hug et al. (2017) concluded that MA offers
structured and rich metadata, which facilitates data
retrieval, handling and processing easily than GS. Harzing
& Alakangas (2017) compared 145 academicians across
ve disciplines and found similar coverage by both MA
and GS in four disciplines. MA has quick search ndings
and provides more reliable author counts as well as
much improved bibliographical details. Thelwall (2018)
advocated it as a new data source for scientometrics that
allows automated searching, unlike GS. MA shows a more
conservative approach when citations are identied by
including an only limited set of preprint sources or from
academic repositories. The studies discussed above left
the research gap to measure the academic performances
of LIS academia through MA and GS databases.
Scope and Method
The study is focusing on the research performance of 26
LIS academia (faculties) from ve central universities of
north-east India. The study covers all types of research
publications indexed in GS and MA without any temporal
restriction. The comparison of research performances is
based on MA and GS databases. The related data for LIS
academia (faculties) were retrieved by searching their
name, author’s prole, afliation, subject of specialisation
for retrieving maximum data. The raw data were extracted
from 30 September to 3 October 2018. Further, raw data
were ltered by removing duplicate records and non-
LIS-related publications. The objective of the study is
to analyse the faculty’s research performance in GS and
MA through different scientometric indicators which will
determine the coverage as well as strength and weaknesses
of MA and GS also in the present context.
Results
Year-Wise Publicaon and Citaon Coverage
Fig. 1 shows the publication and citation coverage of
two databases (GS and MA) for LIS academia. From the
observation of Fig. 1, the increasing trend of publications
and citations has been observed in both the databases. The
temporal coverage for publications and citations has been
observed since 1991 in both databases (GS and MA). The
coverage of GS publications has been observed more than
MA during the period. Similarly, citations coverage for
GS is much higher than MA. Statistically, the publication
coverage of GS (721 publications) is much higher
Measuring the Coverage of Library and Information Science... 13
than MA (220 publications). MA has 30% coverage of
publications in comparison to GS publications, i.e., GS
has more than 3.27 times higher publication coverage
than MA. The citation coverage of MA (257 citations) is
much less as compared to GS (955 citations) and found
26.9% of GS citations, i.e., GS has more than 3.71 times
higher citation coverage than MA. The overall Average
Citation Per Publication (ACPP) has been calculated for
GS (1.32) and MA (1.16) which is higher for GS. The
highest number of publication coverage for GS (312) and
MA (80) has been observed during 2011-2015 while the
highest citation coverage for GS (500) has been observed
during 2011-2015 and for MA (118), it has been observed
during 2006-2010. The inference has been drawn from
the analysis that coverage of GS is much better and MA
in terms of publication and citations.
4
<FIGURE HEAD>Fig. 1: Year-wise Publication and Citation Coverage
Prolific Journals Coverage
Fig. 2 shows the top 10 journal of publication by the LIS academia of north-east India through
GS and MA databases. Out of the top 10 LIS journals, two journals, i.e., Asian Journal of
Multidisciplinary Studies and Pearl: A Journal of Library and Information Science, have been
commonly appeared in both GS and MA databases. Among the top 10 LIS journals, GS has a
total of 57 publications with 65 citations while MA has 39 publications with 50 citations. Out of
top 10 LIS journals, six LIS journals indexed in GS has received citations while MA has only
two LIS journals with citations. Fig. 2 revealed that Library Herald has the highest number of
publications (seven) without citations followed by Annals of Library and Information Studies
with five publications and 48 citations in MA. In case of GS, Kelpro Bulletin and Library Waves
have the highest number of publications (eight each) with 20 and zero, citations, respectively;
Fig. 1: Year-Wise Publication and Citation Coverage
14 International Journal of Information Studies & Libraries Volume 4 Issue 2 July-December 2019
Prolic Journal’s Coverage
Fig. 2 shows the top 10 journal of publication by the LIS
academia of north-east India through GS and MA databases.
Out of the top 10 LIS journals, two journals, i.e., Asian
Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies and Pearl: A Journal
of Library and Information Science, have been commonly
appeared in both GS and MA databases. Among the top
10 LIS journals, GS has a total of 57 publications with 65
citations while MA has 39 publications with 50 citations.
Out of top 10 LIS journals, six LIS journals indexed in GS
has received citations while MA has only two LIS journals
with citations. Fig. 2 revealed that Library Herald has the
highest number of publications (seven) without citations
followed by Annals of Library and Information Studies
with ve publications and 48 citations in MA. In case of
GS, Kelpro Bulletin and Library Waves have the highest
number of publications (eight each) with 20 and zero
citations, respectively; while the journal Library Progress
(International) has only four publications with total 21
citations which is the highest citation amongst any top 10
journals of GS.
5
while the journal Library Progress (International) has only four publications with total 21
citations which is the highest citation amongst any top 10 journals of GS.
<FIGURE HEAD>Fig. 2: Top 10 Prolific Journals in GS and MA
Coverage in Forms of Publication
Forms of publication are one of the major attributes to determine the coverage pattern of a
database. Generally, forms of publication include book, book chapters, conference proceedings,
journal articles, reports, technical reports, etc. From Fig. 3, it has been observed that GS has
covered mainly three different forms of publication with the highest percentage of conference
proceedings (13.45%) followed by book chapters (8.73%) and books (1.8%). MA covers mainly
journal paper as the main forms of publication which covers 25% of total publications while
75% of publications were not specified by its forms and displayed as blank.
Similarly, 67.26% blank is observed in GS also, while 8.73% observed as Other (includes
PDF, Citation, Doc.) which is not properly ascertained as to which category it belongs. The
percent error is calculated on the basis of blank & Other publication forms and it is found that
both GS and MA have approximately 75% error in coverage in forms of publication. GS has
more forms of publication than MA. In case of GS, Mayr & Walter (2007) study found that the
high ratio of journals found was reflected as Citations (28%) document types followed by full-
text in PDF (19%) while other forms of documents were negligible in ratios.
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
Kelpro Bulletin
Library Waves
Asian Jour. of Multi.…
Int. Jour. of Lib. &…
IASLIC Bulletin
Jour. of…
International Journal…
Librarian
Library Progress…
Pearl: A Journal of…
GS
NO. OF PAPER TOTAL CITATION
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
Library Herald
Annals of Library and…
Pearl: A journal of…
SRELS Journal of…
World Digital Libraries
Asian Journal of…
COLLNET journal
DESIDOC Journal
Gyankosh
Journal of Indian…
MA
NO. OF PAPER TOTAL CITATION
Fig. 2: Top 10 Prolic Journals in GS and MA
Coverage in Forms of Publicaon
Forms of publication are one of the major attributes to
determine the coverage pattern of a database. Generally,
forms of publication include book, book chapters,
conference proceedings, journal articles, reports,
technical reports, etc. From Fig. 3, it has been observed
that GS has covered mainly three different forms of
publication with the highest percentage of conference
proceedings (13.45%) followed by book chapters (8.73%)
and books (1.8%). MA covers mainly journal paper as
the main forms of publication which covers 25% of total
publications while 75% of publications were not specied
by its forms and displayed as blank.
Similarly, 67.26% “blank” is observed in GS also, while
8.73% observed as Other (includes PDF, Citation, Doc.)
which is not properly ascertained as to which category it
belongs. The percent error is calculated on the basis of
blank & Other publication forms and it is found that both
GS and MA have approximately 75% error in coverage in
forms of publication. GS has more forms of publication
than MA. In case of GS, Mayr & Walter (2007) study
found that the high ratio of journals found was reected
as Citations (28%) document types followed by full-
text in PDF (19%) while other forms of documents were
negligible in ratios.
Measuring the Coverage of Library and Information Science... 15
6
<FIGURE HEAD>Fig. 3: Forms of Publication in GS and MA
The h-index and g-index Coverage
The h-index measures the quality as well as quantity of research publication and used as an
indicator for scientometric study to evaluate the works of researchers. Further, this indicator
becomes more effective if applied to the researchers that belongs to the same disciplines
(Baldock et al., 2009). The g-index highlights the shortcoming of h-index and rewards one or
several cited publications of researchers’ and thus helps to determine the impact of a researcher.
The higher values of g-index and h-index make it easier to differentiate the performance of the
researchers (Huang & Chi, 2010). In Fig. 4, the h-index and g-index of LIS academia (faculties)
have been analysed through GS and MA. The h-index and g-index value for two faculties are
found nil in GS while no values observed for six faculties in MA. GS shows the highest h-index
for M. K. Sinha (10) followed by M. K. Verma (5) and A. Shukla (4) while the highest g-index
for M. K. Sinha (13) followed by S. Ravikumar (8) and S. N. Singh (8). MA shows the highest h-
index for M. K. Sinha (5) followed by T. P. Devi (2) and P. Hanging (2) while the highest g-
index for M. K. Sinha (7) followed by T. P. Devi (6), R. N. Mishra (3), P. Rath (3) and M. Devi
(3). It has been observed that h-index and g-index values vary for LIS faculties in GS and MA.
From the analysis, it has been observed that GS is much better performed than MA in terms of h-
index and g-index coverage.
13 63
97
63
485
GS
Book
Book Chapter
Conference Papers
Other (pdf,citation,DOC)
Blanks
56
164
MA
Journal Paper
Blanks
Fig. 3: Forms of Publication in GS and MA
The h-index and g-index Coverage
The h-index measures the quality as well as quantity
of research publication and used as an indicator for
scientometric study to evaluate the works of researcher’s.
Further, this indicator becomes more effective if applied
to the researchers that belongs to the same disciplines
(Baldock et al., 2009). The g-index highlights the
shortcoming of h-index and rewards one or several cited
publications of researchers’ and thus helps to determine
the impact of a researcher. The higher values of g-index
and h-index make it easier to differentiate the performance
of the researchers (Huang & Chi, 2010). In Fig. 4, the
h-index and g-index of LIS academia (faculties) have
been analysed through GS and MA. The h-index and
g-index value for two faculties are found nil in GS while
no values observed for six faculties in MA. GS shows the
highest h-index for M. K. Sinha (10) followed by M. K.
Verma (5) and A. Shukla (4) while the highest g-index for
M. K. Sinha (13) followed by S. Ravikumar (8) and S. N.
Singh (8). MA shows the highest h-index for M. K. Sinha
(5) followed by T. P. Devi (2) and P. Hanging (2) while
the highest g-index for M. K. Sinha (7) followed by T. P.
Devi (6), R. N. Mishra (3), P. Rath (3) and M. Devi (3).
It has been observed that h-index and g-index values vary
for LIS faculties in GS and MA. From the analysis, it has
been observed that GS is much better performed than MA
in terms of h-index and g-index coverage.
Discussion and Conclusions
The bibliographic databases provide facilities to extract
the academic research output of faculties and researchers
at one place. There is the number of data extraction, and
visualisation tools are available through which we can
analyse and interpret the result of research. By the results
of numbers of research, it is well understood that no
bibliographic database is complete in terms of indexing of
bibliographic records as well as retrieval of those indexed
records. Data extraction tools have some limitations also,
which limits the search result, but there is no other way
to measure the research performance of academia of any
eld. The results based on such databases, data extraction
tools and data visualisation tools are just a representation
of data indexed with certain limitations.
GS and MA databases are freely available databases,
indexing the academic research output of academic
disciplines from various online sources at their own
level. GS is inviting the researchers to make GS Prole
for improved indexing of such records; and automatic
indexing, as well as manual entry of bibliographic
records, is facilitated by such databases. The complete
coverage of such records is not possible due to the
dependency of the publishing medium. If any research is
published online, then chances for indexing are increased
while there’s a reduced possibility in case of the print
medium. The coverage in terms of number of publications
16 International Journal of Information Studies & Libraries Volume 4 Issue 2 July-December 2019
and citations in such databases suffers a lot of technical,
human and promotional issues. The “technical issues”
relate to the document types covered in the database,
algorithm for indexing of records in database, and manual
entry support in the database. The “human issues” relate
to the availability of number of such databases, quality
issues of such databases, lack of personal interest of
researcher, lack of time to maintain the online account,
feeling of encroachment in personal and professional
life, creates comparison among peers, authenticity and
usefulness of such databases for career promotion, etc.
The “promotional issues” relate to the public awareness
programme run by the database creator or sponsor(s)
among the researchers. What benet the researcher will
get by using such databases? How simple data entry form
is available with the database? And from among many
such databases, why to choose some particular [GS or
MA or ResearchGate] database? After creating an online
account with the database, how many numbers of unique
facilities researcher will get? And nally, ease of use is
also a concern for such databases.
7
<FIGURE HEAD>Fig. 4: The h-index and g-index Coverage of LIS Academia
Discussion and Conclusions
The bibliographic databases provide facilities to extract the academic research output of faculties
and researchers at one place. There is the number of data extraction, and visualisation tools are
available through which we can analyse and interpret the result of research. By the results of
numbers of research, it is well understood that no bibliographic database is complete in terms of
indexing of bibliographic records as well as retrieval of those indexed records. Data extraction
tools have some limitations also, which limits the search result, but there is no other way to
measure the research performance of academia of any field. The results based on such databases,
data extraction tools and data visualisation tools are just a representation of data indexed with
certain limitations.
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
M K Sinha
M K Verma
Akhandanand…
Pravakar Rath
R N Mishra
Amit Kumar
Mukut Sarmah
P. Hangsing
R K Ngurtinkhuma
S N Singh
Th Purnima Devi
Ch Ibohal Singh
Jiarlimon Khongtim
S. Ravikumar
R K Mahapatra
Bikika Laloo
Moses M. Naga
Th Madhuri Devi
Bobby Phuritsabam
K Sangeeta Devi
Mithu Anjali Gayan
Nabin Chandra Dey
J. J. Thabah
Lalngaizuali
GS
h_index g_index
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
MA
h-index g-index
Fig. 4: The h-index and g-index Coverage of LIS Academia
Study observed that publication and citation coverage
of GS is much higher than MA. In terms of journal’s
coverage, GS has indexed number of journals than MA;
the number of publication and citations coverage of
journals are also better than MA. Forms of publications
covered by GS are more than MA as well as numbers of
publications under forms of publications are much higher
for GS than MA; though GS has a problem in identifying
Measuring the Coverage of Library and Information Science... 17
the forms of publications and categorisation of them
which MA has not. The h-index and g-index coverage of
GS have been observed higher than MA. From the study,
it is evidenced that coverage of GS is better than MA for
LIS discipline based on certain scientometric indicators.
Though a similar result cannot be obtained in other
academic disciplines, i.e., coverage may be discipline-
specic. MA is an emerging database started after GS and
is continuously improving in terms of coverage (Harzing,
2016a; Harzing, 2016b; Harzing & Alakangas, 2017;
Hug & Brändle, 2017). The study suggests researchers
to be registered with GS since coverage is much better
than MA, and if possible also join MA since coverage is
improving.
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