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A comparison of the fee-based citation resources Web of science and Scopus with the free citation resource Google scholar

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. C.W. Rensleigh en_US
dc.contributor.author Adriaanse, Leslie Sharon
dc.date.accessioned 2012-06-06T07:30:33Z
dc.date.available 2012-06-06T07:30:33Z
dc.date.issued 2012-06-06
dc.date.submitted 2011-10-11
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/4938
dc.description M.Phil en_US
dc.description.abstract Citing is the process by which scholars give recognition to research used by another academic researcher. Citation resources are tools used by academic scholars for keeping track of who did what research and the impact of the research within the discipline. Citation analysis is therefore an attempt to measure the impact and contribution of a study to the body of knowledge and research. Citation tracking and citation analysis is facilitated by making use of information resources which specialize in citations and tools for conducting citation analysis. The citation resource by The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), Web of Science (WOS), was traditionally the citation tool of choice of academics for more than 40 years. The arrival in 2004 of Scopus, a fee-based citation resource, and Google Scholar (GS), a citation resource available for free and accessible via the Web, presented WOS with competition. The prolific growth of the citation resources created new opportunities for academics in citation tracking and citation analysis. The question of which citation resource to use in the process of tracking citations and conducting citation analysis posed a challenge to librarians and information professionals at academic institutions. It became essential to establish which citation resource was not only most relevant to use for which subject discipline, but which was the most cost-effective with the advent of shrinking library budgets. Therefore the need arose for citation resources to be compared with the aim of establishing whether the newcomers Scopus and GS are substitutes for or complementary to the traditional WOS. The objectives of this study included comparing WOS, Scopus and GS in order to determine whether evaluation criteria existed for citation resources, to define scholarly environmental sciences journals within a South African context, to determine which citation resource presented the most comprehensive citation coverage of the South African scholarly environmental sciences journals, to determine whether GS could be considered a substitute for the fee-based citation resources WOS and Scopus, and to determine how the content of the exported data for the journal sample population compared in terms of content completeness and quality. The research study consisted of a detailed literature review, followed by an empirical component using a comparative research design and the technique of purposive non-probability sampling in order to define the sample population for the study. The South African scholarly environmental sciences journals internationally accredited during the period 2004-2008 were chosen as the sample target population. The study consisted of a pilot study and three measuring instruments that were compiled based on the literature review. The results of the macro-level evaluation established that Scopus surpasses both WOS and GS. On the other hand, the micro-level evaluation concluded that WOS surpasses Scopus and GS. The content verification process conducted determined that Scopus and WOS both surpass GS. These findings were presented at the 12th Annual World Wide Web Applications conference in September 2010. The study was able to establish that GS is not a substitute for WOS and/or Scopus for the South African scholarly environmental sciences journals. In addition, it was concluded that GS can be used as a supplementary citation resource to the fee-based citation resources WOS and Scopus. It was further determined that the citation resource Scopus can be considered a substitute for WOS, which was traditionally the citation resource of choice of academic researchers. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Scopus citation index en_US
dc.subject Internet research en_US
dc.subject Bibliographical citations en_US
dc.subject Scholarly publishing en_US
dc.subject Web of Science citation index en_US
dc.subject Google Scholar en_US
dc.subject Scholarly Web sites
dc.subject Fee-based library services
dc.title A comparison of the fee-based citation resources Web of science and Scopus with the free citation resource Google scholar en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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