Following the research line the EC3 Research Group initiated to discover the inner depths of Google Scholar and test its suitability as a tool for research evaluation, this time we have turned our efforts to investigate new uses for Google Scholar Citations (sometimes also known as Google Scholar Profiles). We present a new and original procedure to learn about the impact of a whole scientific discipline (in this case, Library and Information Science), a specific scientific and professional community (the Spanish community), and the main agents that are a part of it (scientists, professionals, the documents they produce, and the journals and publishers which print these documents). This is where the originality of this initiative lies: from the scientific production of the members of the Library and Information Science community who have made public their profile on Google Scholar Citations, we can develop a very reliable picture of this discipline.
The main goals of this product are three:
- To test the exhaustiveness, reliability and validity of the information available in Google Scholar Citations when applied to the task of creating a bibliometric picture of a given discipline.
- To test the suitability of Google Scholar Citations for developing rankings that present the main authors, documents, journals and publishers in the Spanish Library and Information Science.
- To test new ways to build scientific rankings and classifications, using citations counts provided by Google Scholar.
The experimental nature of this action is also aimed at verifying the degree of acceptance of products of this kind in the Humanities and Social Sciences communities, which are not as of yet familiar with this sort of bibliometric practices. And the best way to do this is to display the results obtained in each area of study in order to analyze and assess the reactions that these products may provoke.
From the ranking of 336 Spanish Library and Information Science authors who have made their Google Scholar Citations profile public, and the 485 most cited documents in those profiles (90th percentile), three additional rankings have been developed: a journal ranking, a publisher ranking, and an institution ranking according to the number of citations received.