Google Scholar has been increasingly used in the past six to seven years as a highly efficient information source and service by librarians and other information professionals. The problem is when Google Scholar is touted and used as a bibliometric/scientometric tool and resource in the assessment of the quantity (productivity) and quality (impact) of research publications, in formal and informal ways, for decisions related to tenure, promotion and grant applications of individual researchers and research groups, as well as in journal subscriptions and cancellations. This paper aims to examine this issue.
The paper discusses the use of Google Scholar for journal impact factors and the h‐index in nationwide publishing assessments in academia. It focuses on the issues of access and excess in Google Scholar: the innate limits of Google Scholar and those imposed by its developers on the users.
The paper reveals that issues of access and excess in Google Scholar prevent the researchers from doing appropriate content analysis that the best librarians and other information professionals do systematically to discover the pros and cons of databases. The excess content grossly dilutes the originally worthy collection of scholarly publications. The accuracy, reliability and reproducibility are essential for realistic research assessment through the prism of the quantity (publication counts) and quality (citation counts) of scholarly works. Unfortunately the metadata created by Google Scholar is substandard, neither reliable nor reproducible and it distorts the metric indicators at the individual, corporate and journal levels.
The paper provides useful information on the use of Google Scholar for journal impact factors and the h‐index in academic publishing.
Jacsó, P. (2012), "Using Google Scholar for journal impact factors and the h‐index in nationwide publishing assessments in academia – siren songs and air‐raid sirens", Online Information Review, Vol. 36 No. 3, pp. 462-478. https://doi.org/10.1108/14684521211241503Download as .RIS
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