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Coverage of academic citation databases compared with coverage of scientific social media: Personal publication lists as calibration parameters

Fee Hilbert (Department of Information Science, Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany)
Julia Barth (Department of Information Science, Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany)
Julia Gremm (Department of Information Science, Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany)
Daniel Gros (Department of Information Science, Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany)
Jessica Haiter (Department of Information Science, Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany)
Maria Henkel (Department of Information Science, Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany)
Wilhelm Reinhardt (Department of Information Science, Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany)
Wolfgang G. Stock (Department of Information Science, Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 13 April 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how the coverage of publications is represented in information services. Academic citation databases (Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar) and scientific social media (Mendeley, CiteULike, BibSonomy) were analyzed by applying a new method: the use of personal publication lists of scientists.

Design/methodology/approach

Personal publication lists of scientists of the field of information science were analyzed. All data were taken in collaboration with the scientists in order to guarantee complete publication lists.

Findings

The demonstrated calibration parameter shows the coverage of information services in the field of information science. None of the investigated databases reached a coverage of 100 percent. However Google Scholar covers a greater amount of publications than other academic citation databases and scientific social media.

Research limitations/implications

Results were limited to the publications of scientists working at an information science department from 2003 to 2012 at German-speaking universities.

Practical implications

Scientists of the field of information science are encouraged to review their publication strategy in case of quality and quantity.

Originality/value

The paper confirms the usefulness of personal publication lists as a calibration parameter for measuring coverage of information services.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Katsiaryna Baran, Alexander Bek and Isabelle Dorsch and their research teams for their helpful contributions in data collection.

Citation

Hilbert, F., Barth, J., Gremm, J., Gros, D., Haiter, J., Henkel, M., Reinhardt, W. and Stock, W.G. (2015), "Coverage of academic citation databases compared with coverage of scientific social media: Personal publication lists as calibration parameters", Online Information Review, Vol. 39 No. 2, pp. 255-264. https://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-07-2014-0159

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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