May 19, 2022

Research Article: “Citation Analysis of Ph.D. Theses with Data From Scopus and Google Books”

The following research article was recently published by Scientometrics.


Citation Analysis of Ph.D. Theses with Data From Scopus and Google Books


Paul Donner
Deutsches Zentrum für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsforschung (DZHW)
(German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies)


Scientometrics (2021)
DOI: 10.1007/s11192-021-04173-w


This study investigates the potential of citation analysis of Ph.D. theses to obtain valid and useful early career performance indicators at the level of university departments. For German theses from 1996 to 2018 the suitability of citation data from Scopus and Google Books is studied and found to be sufficient to obtain quantitative estimates of early career researchers’ performance at departmental level in terms of scientific recognition and use of their dissertations as reflected in citations. Scopus and Google Books citations complement each other and have little overlap. Individual theses’ citation counts are much higher for those awarded a dissertation award than others. Departmental level estimates of citation impact agree reasonably well with panel committee peer review ratings of early career researcher support.

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