Title

A Comparative Analysis of Social Sciences Citation Tools

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-25-2009

Keywords

Databases, Software tools

Organizational Units

University Libraries

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the utility of Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar as citation analysis tools for the social sciences.

Design/Methodology/Approach

The 25 most‐accessed articles in 163 social sciences journals are searched in three citation databases.

Findings

Web of Science has long been the only tool for citation analysis. Scopus and Google Scholar, while still new to the market, are complementary to Web of Science and in some cases can provide a more nuanced view of the importance of scholarly articles in the social sciences.

Practical Implications

As libraries struggle to provide the best tools to their users, they may wish to consider the freely‐available Google Scholar as a substitute or complement to expensive databases such as Web of Science and Scopus.

Originality/Value

Most analyses of citation databases have focused on the sciences. Because this study examined the social sciences literature, it has expanded on the research available on Web of Science, Google Scholar and Scopus.

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