Citation data and metrics in Google Scholar
Google Scholar has offered basic metrics data for some time, but the service has seen some interesting developments recently that make it easy to discover highly-cited journals and articles for a wide selection of academic disciplines.
On the Scholar homepage you’ll now see Metrics as a link at the top of the screen:
This leads to a basic list of ‘top publications’ in the English language, ordered by h5-index (Google offers some details of its metrics implementation). But you can now drill down into specific disciplines using the menu on the left – there are eight top-level categories, each of which has a number of subcategories (dozens, in some cases). So the Social Sciences category can be viewed as a whole or, though the subcategories link, focused on Early Childhood Education, International Law, Public Health and so on.
Each category and subcategory displays a similar table of relevant journals ordered by h5-index. Clicking the h5-index total brings up a list of that journal’s articles, ordered by citation count. You can see University of Northampton’s Professor Jeff Ollerton in the article lists for Oikos and Annals of Botany, for example.
Once you’re in the Metrics section, searches will by default focus on journal titles, which is a quick method of finding metrics for a particular title (or for journals that don’t appear in the top results). Using the Search Scholar button will run a standard Scholar query.
While Scholar’s metrics are not yet a replacement for Journal Citation Reports or some of its alternatives, Google obviously have a wealth of data and resources to draw on, and we can expect further developments to the service. Scholar is also, notably, a free resource open to all (at the same time, it’s worth remembering that Google are not averse to retiring services).
Researchers may want to take advantage of Google Scholar’s profile feature, which will create a page on Scholar tracking your own publications and citations. By default this is a private page, but you can opt to make it public, as a number of researchers already have. Instructions are available, and we’ll take a closer look at this in a later post.