October 7, 2015

Working Paper: “Google Scholar Metrics 2014: a Low Cost Bibliometric Tool”

The following working paper was recently made available online by researchers at two universities in Spain in the arXiv repository.


Google Scholar Metrics 2014: a Low Cost Bibliometric Tool


Alberto Martín-Martín
Universidad de Granada

Juan Manuel Ayllón
Universidad de Granada

Enrique Orduña-Malea
Universidad Politécnica de Valencia

Emilio Delgado López-Cózar
Universidad de Granada


via arXiv


EC3 Working Papers 17


We analyse the main features of the third edition of Google Scholar Metrics (GSM), released in June 2014, focusing on its more important changes, strengths, and weaknesses. Additionally, we present some figures that outline the dimensions of this new edition, and we compare them to those of previous editions. Principal among these figures are the number of visualized publications, publication types, languages, and the maximum and minimum h5-index and h5-median values by language, subject area, and subcategory. This new edition is marked by continuity. There is nothing new other than the updating of the time frame (2009-2013) and the removal of some redundant subcategories (from 268 to 261) for English written publications. Google has just updated the data, which means that some of the errors discussed in previous studies still persist. To sum up, GSM is a minimalist information product with few features, closed (it cannot be customized by the user), and simple (navigating it only takes a few clicks). For these reasons, we consider it a ‘low cost’ bibliometric tool, and propose a list of features it should incorporate in order to stop being labeled as such. Notwithstanding the above, this product presents a stability in its bibliometric indicators that supports its ability to measure and track the impact of scientific publications.

Direct to Full Text Report (37 pages; PDF)

See Also: Other Reports in the Series

See Also: “Google Scholar as Replacement for Systematic Literature Searches: Good Relative Recall and Precision are Not Enough” (October 26, 2013)

See Also: “The Google Scholar Experiment: How to Index False Papers and Manipulate Bibliometric Indicators” (September 11, 2013)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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