Coverage of academic citation databases compared with coverage of scientific social media. Personal publication lists as calibration parameters

Publication Date13 Apr 2015
AuthorFee Hilbert,Julia Barth,Julia Gremm,Daniel Gros,Jessica Haiter,Maria Henkel,Wilhelm Reinhardt,Wolfgang G. Stock
SubjectLibrary & information science,Information behaviour & retrieval
Coverage of academic citation
databases compared with
coverage of scientific social media
Personal publication lists as
calibration parameters
Fee Hilbert, Julia Barth, Julia Gremm, Daniel Gros, Jessica Haiter,
Maria Henkel, Wilhelm Reinhardt and Wolfgang G. Stock
Department of Information Science, Heinrich Heine University,
Dusseldorf, Germany
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to show how the coverage of publications is represented in
information services. Academic citation databases (Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar) and
scientific social media (Mendeley, CiteULike, BibSonomy) were analyzed by applying a new method:
the use of personal publication lists of scientists.
Design/methodology/approach Personal publication lists of scientists of the field of information
science were analyzed. All data were taken in collaboration with the scientists in order to guarantee
complete publication lists.
Findings The demonstrated calibration parameter shows the coverage of information services in the
field of information science. None of the investigated databases reached a coverage of 100 percent.
However Google Scholar covers a greater amount of publications than other academic citation
databases and scientific social media.
Research limitations/implications Results were limited to the publications of scientists working
at an information science department from 2003 to 2012 at German-speaking universities.
Practical implications Scientists of the field of information science are encouraged to review their
publication strategy in case of quality and quantity.
Originality/value The paper confirms the usefulness of personal publication lists as a calibration
parameter for measuring coverage of information services.
Keywords Information service, Coverage, Database, Publication list
Paper type Research paper
Coverage serves as a criterion for quality of an information service (Hood and Wilson,
2003; Lancaster, 2003). Coverageis defined as the ratio of the number of entities
represented by an information service (sometimes also called database) and the
number of all available entities (Naumann et al., 2004). If dcounts the number of all
available documents in a given subject (say, a scientific discipline) and sis the number
of surrogates, representing the documents from the subject area in an information
service (IS), the coverage Cof IS is calculated by:
Online Information Review
Vol. 39 No. 2, 2015
pp. 255-264
©Emerald Group Publis hing Limited
DOI 10.1108/OIR-07-2014-0159
Received 24 July 2014
Fourth revision approved
5 January 2015
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
The authors would like to thank Katsiaryna Baran, Alexander Bek and Isabelle Dorsch and their
research teams for their helpful contributions in data collection.
Coverage of

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT