Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Google Scholar Citations

Google Scholar Citations Last night I finally managed to break into Google Scholar Citations (Google is doing it's usual now you see it, now you don't roll out).

First impressions - pretty good. It need a little tidying up (a few papers that weren't mine - the format of Bioscience Education confuses it - and a few papers missing that needed to be added).

I've never seen all my citations in one place this this before so I broke them down into Virology papers (former life), Education papers (current existence) and Books, then did some quick stats:

Google Scholar Citations

Summary stats:
  Virology:             Education:             Books:      
  Min. :       0.00   Min. :     0.000    Min. :      0.00 
  Median : 10.50   Median : 0.000    Median :  0.00 
  Mean   : 42.74   Mean :    4.073    Mean :   22.67 
  Max. :  273.00   Max.   : 66.000    Max. :  189.00 

  • Science papers in high impact journals do best (duh), but (most) books do well also. How much would article-level metrics smooth this distribution?
  • All categories have items with zero citations (including books). Most of these were written because I was talking to a particular community or was required to write these outputs for grant "dissemination" (hollow laugh).
  • Distribution of citations in all categories is highly skewed by a small number of high scoring items.
  • Moving to education is a bad career move if you are going to be compared with scientists using blunt objects such as impact factors or even h-index.


  1. Very interesting... will go and look at mine. What is the x-axis on your graph? Can I tell you off for not labelling it ?? ;-)

  2. Tha's done well, young Alan...B-) Maintaining an h-index of 23 without any wet research publications recently is very impressive!

    But you are right; article-level metrics would be much more meaningful.

  3. ...and HTF did you break into Google Scholar citations?? It keeps spurning me - and there's no recourse by emailing someone, and here's me wanting to look at it on behalf of the institution...?

  4. I managed to sign up for Google Scholar Citations shortly after it was launched. I found it was very accurate in identifying my publications and in excluding publications from authors with similar names. The ability to view more detailed information for individual papers is very useful. Like many universities, my own university, Imperial College London, offers its academic staff a publication page that lists their publications, derived from searching publication databases, but does not publish information on citation metrics.