bibliographic database analysis; geographical literature; Google Scholar; Web of Science; FRANCIS; GeoRef
[en] This study aims to highlight what benefits, if any, Google Scholar (GS) has for academic literature searches in the field of geography, compared to three commercial bibliographic databases: Web of Science (WoS) and FRANCIS (multidisciplinary databases) and GeoRef (specialized in geosciences). To ensure a valid comparison, identical bibliographic searches were applied using each of the four bibliographic tools. To exclude automatic variations of the ten keywords tested, they were placed between quotation marks and searched only in the “title” field of the respective search tools’ interfaces. The results were limited to bibliographic references published from 2005 to 2009. In order to assess the repeatability of the results, the exact same process was repeated monthly between November 2010 and July 2011. Initially the whole set of results was analyzed, after which the search results for two keywords (selected since they yielded a manageable number of results) were studied in more detail. The results indicate that GS search results show a large degree of overlap with those of the other databases but, moreover, yield numerous unique hits, which should be useful to researchers in both the fields of human and physical geography. GS leads the other tools widely on number of results, independently of keyword, subfield, year of publication, or time of search.
Library & information sciences
Author, co-author :
Stirbu, Simona ; Université de Liège - ULiège > Bibliothèque des Sciences et Techniques
Thirion, Paul ; Université de Liège - ULiège > Réseau des Bibliothèques : Direction générale
Schmitz, Serge ; Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de géographie > Service de géographie rurale (LAPLEC)
Haesbroeck, Gentiane ; Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de mathématique > Statistique mathématique
Greco, Ninfa ; Université de Liège - ULiège > Bibliothèque des Sciences et Techniques
The utility of Google Scholar when searching geographical literature: comparison with three commercial bibliographic databases
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