Using “Google scholar” has always been a most frustrating experience. My publications/citations got always mixed with those of a cardiologist cousin of mine in Paris, and those of a childhood friend who founded a publishing house in London. But who am I to complain? You don’t need more than one hand to count the number of publishing “Ghoussoubs” in this world. Think about Joe Smith or X.X. Chen. Fortunately, Google and Microsoft have teamed up to come to the rescue.
They have recently rolled out “Google Scholar Citations”, a “free tool that will enable researchers to analyse citation statistics, visualize research networks and track the hottest research fields.” And I like it!
First because it is free, which gives us a break from the existing pay-per-use metrics platforms of Thomson Reuters’ Web of Knowledge and Elsevier’s Scopus database.
What I like about it most is that it allows researchers to create and manage their own professional profile. It does show you all your articles that are in the Google Scholar database, but adds two important features.
First, you can “clean up” your list, remove from it publications that don’t belong to you at the first place (a minimal requirement you’d think), get rid of duplications, combine records if you have used more than one alias in your career, and above all hide pre-publications and research announcements you had made in haste in a distant past, and which eventually turned out to be flawed or wanting.
The second neat feature is that it automatically computes and displays your citation profile, starting with the number of citations each of your paper received over time, their total, as well as a separate one for the last 5 years –to keep up the pressure, I guess!
And more importantly, it displays other citation metrics such as the fashionable h-index, which attempts to measure both the productivity of a scientist and the overall impact of their publications. How? By giving you a number (the h-index) that is the largest number h such that h publications have at least h citations. I don’t know yet whether I should rejoice to see that mine was 26 or not. Can anyone help with comparisons? Not with Albert Einstein, please!
It also gives you the i10-index, which is the number of publications with at least 10 citations. Too bad it doesn’t give the number of views that each of our blog posts receive.
In any case, as you had guessed, I made good use of a sleepless night (must be the first snow in here) to clean up my profile … and that’s what I got!
Please don’t bother sending me job offers. I am married to a Vancouverite, hence not movable!
Your praise for Google Scholar Citations is most interesting and informative especially for academic librarians. Thanks for your blog post.
A picture is needed to complete the profile 🙂
The other advantage of Google Scholar (though I think Thompson is now starting to do this, too) is that it includes citations in books. For mathematicians like you, this is probably irrelevant, but for humanities and social science scholars this makes citations a much more reliable and valid indicator of their actual impact. Until recently, only those works cited in journal articles were in the indexes. In disciplines where journal articles are not as common as research monographs this was not very useful at all.
Also, I’m laughing about the how many Ghoussoubs can there be (and the fact that you know the others) because there aren’t a lot of VanEvery’s either 🙂
This is a neat feature 🙂 I’m interested in seeing how it gets used in the near future 🙂