Gas station without pumps

2010 July 1

Google Scholar vs. Scopus and SciFinder

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 12:18
Tags: , , ,

Yesterday, I compared Google Scholar to Web of Science for getting citations to my publications. Today I’ll compare to Scopus and Scifinder, competing bibliographic databases.  Like Google Scholar, they tend not to go back to older sources much.

Unlike Web of Science, I can’t access Scopus from home, even though our library subscribes to both.  Scopus has 58 entries for me (under three different variants of my name).  They do provide a simple way to request that variants get merged, so I tried that yesterday, and got a reply today that they will merge the three entries some time in the next 2–3 weeks. They have an RSS feed for articles, but it only includes 20 of the 58 articles. The h-graph feature of Scopus is kind of nice for seeing the rapid drop-off in number of citations, but I wish it had a log scale for the number of citations.

[UPDATE: 22 July 2010, the various names for me have been merged, so it took less than 3 weeks for them to fix.  They still have my h-index as 22, though the 23rd on their list has 23 citations, so I don’t know why they report h=22 instead of 23.]

Scifinder is another choice available here.  It has 69 paper for me, under various variants of my first name.  They have a “remove duplicates” button that reduces the number of papers to 38.  The number of references is 2022, reduced to 2020 with “remove duplicates”. Getting an h-index from Scifinder is difficult, since it requires navigating to a new page for each paper. The “remove duplicates” feature of SciFinder is very nice, but their coverage seems thinner than the other databases, and they make it harder to get summary statistics.

MathSciNet (from AMS) might be worth checking also for mathematicians, but it only has my very first paper, which has never been cited. (In fact, if anyone besides me and the person whose conjecture it answered read the paper, I’d be very surprised.)

Spires is a database just for high-energy physics that was mentioned in the comments for FemaleScienceProfessor’s blog. It has no entries for me or my relatives with the same last name (though some of them were physicists).

I also checked one of my early papers that is in a field and journal that is not much indexed in scientific literature. The difference here is striking.

database papers citations max cites h-index CMJ paper
Google Scholar 190* 4907 859 32 252
Scopus 58 3003 616 22 47
Web of Science 41 2554 596 21 64
SciFinder 38 2020 603 0
MathSciNet 1 0 0 0 0

*The Google Scholar list of papers has a lot of duplication and a few bogus entries—it could really use SciFinder’s “Remove Duplicates” button. Incidentally, to get Google Scholar to show the h-index, you need to use the “Scholar Preferences” link next to the search box, but when you do that, you get several related summary statistics as well (g-index, e-index, delta-h, delta-g, and all the stats re-normalized for co-authorship). Unlike Web of Science, they do not have the option of correcting for self-citation, though.


  1. The University of California is discontinuing the subscription to Scopus:

    After extensive review, evaluation, comparison with competitors, and
    discussion, the UC Libraries have decided not to acquire /Scopus/ as a
    UC systemwide purchase for 2011. Factors that led to this decision
    include existing widespread usage of comparable, high-quality databases;
    high ongoing license costs, without perpetual rights to the data; severe
    collection budget constraints, including cancellation of some important
    journal subscriptions; and relatively low usage throughout the trial
    period. The UC Libraries recognize that there are good features in
    Scopus, have valued the opportunity to explore the database in depth,
    and will continue to monitor its development.

    Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2010 November 15 @ 18:00 | Reply

  2. Google Scholar seems to have cleaned up a bit.
    author:”kevin karplus” or author:”k karplus” or author:”karplus, k*”
    now gets 145 papers, 4796 citations, max cites 885, h-index 29, CMJ paper 247.

    Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2010 November 15 @ 18:07 | Reply

  3. […] look for an equivalent of h-index (which I blogged about in Google Scholar vs. Web of Science and Google Scholar vs. Scopus and SciFinder) for measuring blogs. I don’t think that using the number of views the way that the number of […]

    Pingback by NaBloPoMo is over « Gas station without pumps — 2010 December 1 @ 00:18 | Reply

  4. author:”karplus, k*” or author:”k* karplus” or author:”kevin karplus” or author:”karplus, kevin”
    on Googgle Scholar now gets “about 120” papers, 5178 citations, max cites 911, h-index 30, CMJ paper 261.
    So it looks like Google Scholar is making some progress in cleaning up the trash in their database.

    Web of Science gets 41 papers, 2694 total cites, 622 max cites, h-index 21, CMJ paper 66, so has not changed much from the last time I looked.

    I no longer have access to Scopus.

    Scifinder now has 38 papers, 2146 total cites, 631 max cites (and still doesn’t compute h-index nor index the CMJ paper).

    So overall, things have not changed much since the last time I tried this search. Only Google Scholar has improved, mainly by cleaning up most (but not all) of its trash.

    Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2011 April 17 @ 20:39 | Reply

  5. […] Google Scholar vs. Scopus and SciFinder […]

    Pingback by Blogoversary « Gas station without pumps — 2011 June 5 @ 10:51 | Reply

  6. […] blogged before about Google Scholar as a citation source (Google vs. Scopus and SciFinder, Google Scholar vs. Web of Science).  One of my complaints was about some of the sloppy citation […]

    Pingback by Google Scholar Citations « Gas station without pumps — 2011 November 26 @ 00:37 | Reply

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    Pingback by Blog year in review « Gas station without pumps — 2012 January 1 @ 14:17 | Reply

  8. […] Google Scholar vs. Scopus and SciFinder […]

    Pingback by Second Blogoversary « Gas station without pumps — 2012 June 2 @ 18:15 | Reply

  9. […] Google Scholar vs. Scopus and SciFinder […]

    Pingback by 2012 in review « Gas station without pumps — 2012 December 31 @ 11:18 | Reply

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