The Impact of Scientific Journals of Communication: Comparing Google Scholar Metrics, Web of Science and Scopus

Repiso-Caballero, Rafael and Delgado-López-Cózar, Emilio The Impact of Scientific Journals of Communication: Comparing Google Scholar Metrics, Web of Science and Scopus. Comunicar, 2013, vol. 21, n. 41, pp. 45-52. [Journal article (Paginated)]

en45-52.pdf - Published version

Download (399kB) | Preview

English abstract

Google Scholar Metrics' launch in April 2012, a new bibliometric tool for the evaluation of scientific journals by means of citation counting, has ended with the duopoly exerted by the Web of Science and Scopus databases. This paper aims at comparing the coverage of these three databases and the similarity their journal rankings may have. We selected a sample of journals from the field of Communication Studies indexed in the three databases. Data was recollected on 1720 November, 2012. 277 journals were identified to which we calculated their hindex and ranked them according to such indicator. Then, we analyzed the correlation between the rankings generated. Google Scholar Metrics dobles the coverage of the other databases, reducing the bias toward English language both; web of Science and Scopus have. Google Scholar Metrics shows higher hindex values (an average 47% higher than Scopus and 40% higher than Web of Science), allowing to better rank journals. We conclude that Google Scholar Metrics is a tool capable of identifying the main journals in Communication Studies offering results as reliable and valid as the ones Web of Science and Scopus show.

["eprint_fieldopt_linguabib_" not defined] abstract

La aparición de Google Scholar Metrics en abril de 2012 como nuevo sistema de evaluación bibliométrica de revistas científicas a partir del recuento de las citas bibliográficas que éstas han recibido en Google Scholar rompe el duopolio ejercido hasta el momento por las bases de datos Web of Science y Scopus. El objetivo de este trabajo es comparar la cobertura que poseen estas tres bases de datos y la similitud que puedan presentar los rankings elaborados a partir de ellas. Se ha elegido como muestra las revistas de comunicación indizadas en las tres bases de datos. Las búsquedas bibliográficas se efectuaron entre el 17 y el 20 de noviembre de 2012. Se calcula el índice h de las 277 revistas identificadas y se averigua la correlación existente entre los rankings generados. Google Scholar Metrics duplica la cobertura, reduce el sesgo anglosajón que poseen Web of Science y Scopus. Google Scholar Metrics proporciona índices h más elevados (un promedio de un 47% superior a Scopus y un 40% a Web of Science) con lo que permite discriminar mejor las posiciones de las revistas en el ranking. En conclusión, Google Scholar Metrics es una herramienta capaz de identificar las principales revistas de comunicación ofreciendo resultados tan solventes, fiables y válidos como los generados por Web of Science y Scopus.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: Communication, Google Scholar, Scopus, Web of Science, citations analysis, bibliometrics, h index, ranking
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BB. Bibliometric methods
Depositing user: Alex Ruiz
Date deposited: 06 Aug 2013 14:41
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:26


"SEEK" links will first look for possible matches inside E-LIS and query Google Scholar if no results are found.

Alonso, S., Cabrerizo, F.J., Herrera-Viedma, E. & Herrera, F. (2009). H-Index: A Review focused in its Variants, Computation and Standardization for Different Scientific Fields. Journal of Informetrics, 3(4), 273-289. (

Archambault, E. & Gagné, E.V. (2004). The Use of Bibliometrics in Social Sciences and Humanities. Montreal: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC).

Bakkalbasi, N., Bauer, K., Glover, J. & Wang, L. (2006). Three Options for Citation Tracking: Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science. Biomedical digital libraries, 3(7).

Bar-Ilan, J. (2008). Which h-index? A Comparison of WoS, Scopus and Google Scholar. Scientometrics, 74(2), 257–271. (

Bar-Ilan, J. (2010). Citations to the ‘Introduction to Informetrics’ Indexed by WOS, Scopus and Google Scholar. Scientometrics 82(3), 495–506. (

Bollen, J., Van de Sompel, H., Hagberg, A. & Chute, R. (2009). A Principal Component Analysis of 39 Scientific Impact Measures. PloS one, 4(6), e6022. (

Braun, T., Glänzel, W. & Schubert, A. (2005). A Hirsch-type Index for Journals. The Sciencist, 19(22), 8-10.

Cabezas-Clavijo, Á. & Delgado López-Cózar, E. (2012a). ¿Es posible usar Google Scholar para evaluar a las revistas científicas nacionales en los ámbitos de Ciencias Sociales y Jurídicas? El caso de las revistas españolas. EC3 Working Paper, (3). (

Cabezas-Clavijo, Á. & Delgado López-Cózar, E. (2012b). Las revistas españolas de Ciencias Sociales y Jurídicas en Google Scholar Metrics, ¿están todas las que son? EC3 Working Papers, (2). (

Cabezas-Clavijo, Á. & Delgado López-Cózar, E. (in press). Google Scholar y el índice h en Biomedicina: la popularización de la evaluación bibliométrica. Medicina Intensiva.

Chung, C., Lee, S., Barnett, G. A. & Kim, J. (2009). A Comparative Network Analysis of KSJCS and ICA in the Era of Hybridization. Asian Journal of Communication, 19(2), 170-191. (

Craig, R. T. (1999). Communication Theory as a Field. Communication Theory, 9(2), 119–161. ( 10.1111/j.1468-2885.1999.tb00166.x).

Craig, R.T. (2003). Discursive Origins of a Communication Discipline. Annual Convention of the National Comunication Associations. Miami Beach.

Delgado López-Cózar, E. & Cabezas-Clavijo, Á (2012b). Google Scholar Metrics revisado: Ahora empieza a ir en serio. EC3 Working Papers, (8). (

Delgado López-Cózar, E. & Robinson-García, N. (2012). Repositories in Google Scholar Metrics or what is this Document Type Doing in a Place as Such? Cybermetrics, 16(1), paper 4.

Delgado López-Cózar, E.; Orduña-Malea, E.; Marcos-Cartagena, D.; Jiménez-Contreras, E. & Ruiz-Pérez, R. (2012). Journal Scholar: Una alternativa interna-cional, gratuita y de libre acceso para medir el impacto de las revistas de Arte, Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales. EC3 Working Papers, 2012, (5). (

Delgado-López-Cózar, E. & Cabezas-Clavijo, Á. (2012a). Google Scholar Metrics: an unreliable tool for assessing scientific journals. El Profesional de la Información, 21(4), 419–427. ( 10.3145/epi.2012.jul.15).

Egghe, L. (2010). The Hirsch Index and Related Impact Measures. Annual review of information science and technology, 44(1), 65-114. ( 10.1002/aris.-2010.1440440109).

Falagas, M.E., Pitsouni, E.I., Malietzis, G.A. & Pappas, G. (2008). Comparison of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar: Strengths and Weaknesses. The FASEB Journal, 22(2), 338-342. (

Hakanen, E.A. & Wolfram, D. (1995). Citation Relationships among International Mass Communication Journals. Journal of information science, 21(3), 209-215.

Harzing, A. & Wal, R. Van der. (2009). A Google Scholar H-index for Journals: An Alternative Metric to Measure Journal Impact in Economics and Business. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(1): 41–46. (

Hodge, D.R. & Lacasse, J.R. (2011). Ranking Disciplinary Journals with the Google Scholar h-index: A New Tool for Constructing Cases for Tenure, Promotion, and Other Professional Decisions. Journal of Social Work Education, 47(3), 579-596. (

Houser, E.T. (2006). The Evaluative Use of Citation Analysis for Communication Jour-nals. Human Communication Research, 22(4), 563-574. (

Jacsó, P. (2012). Google Scholar Metrics for Publications: The Software and Content Features of a New Open Access Bibliometric Service. Online Information Re-view, 36(4), 604-619. (

Kulkarni, A.V., Aziz, B., Shams, I. & Busse, J.W. (2009). Comparisons of Citations in Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar for Articles Published in General Medical Journals. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 302(10), 1092-1096. ( 10.1001/jama.2009.1307).

Lauf, E. (2005). National Diversity of Major International Journals in the Field of Communication. Journal of communication, 55(1), 139-151. ( 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2005.tb02663.x).

Levine, T.R. (2010). Rankings and Trends in Citation Patterns of Communication Journals. Communication Education, 59(1), 41-51. ( 10.1080/03634520903296825).

Leydesdorff, L. (2009). How Are New Citation-based Journal Indicators Adding to the Bibliometric Toolbox? Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(7), 1327-1336. (

Meho, L.I. & Yang, K. (2007). Impact of Data Sources on Citation Counts and Rankings of LIS Faculty: Web of Science versus Scopus and Google Scholar. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 58(13), 2105-2125. (

Park, H.W. & Leydesdorff, L. (2009). Knowledge Linkage Structures in Communication Studies Using Citation Analysis among Communication Journals. Scientometrics, 81(1), 157-175. (

Rice, R.E., Borgman, C.L. & Reeves, B. (1988). Citation Networks of Communication Journals, 1977–1985 Cliques and Positions, Citations Made and Citations Received. Human Communication Research, 1 (2), 256-283. (

So, C.Y. (1988) Citation Patterns of Core Communication Journals: An Assessment of the Developmental Status of Communication. Human Communication Research, 15(2), 236-255. (

Stephen, T.D. (2008). Measuring the Reputation and Productivity of Communication Programs. Communication Education, 57(3), 297-311. (

Torres-Salinas, D. & Jiménez-Contreras, E. (2010). Introducción y estudio com-parativo de los nuevos indicadores de citación sobre revistas científicas en Journal Citation Reports y Scopus. El Profesional de la Información, 19(2), 201-208. (

Vanclay, J.K. (2008). Ranking Forestry Journals Using the H-index. Journal of infor-metrics, 2(4), 326-334. (


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item