Wednesday, July 20, 2005

More about comparisons

A comment on yesterday's entry asked "So, is there overlap between the databases? Is scopus the best, based on this? Or does web of science and google have uniques hits?"

This is a great question - one that I had myself immediately after I did this test (along with lots of other questions!). But, I can't answer it definitively...yet. Because of this little test, several colleagues and I are going to take a look at the resulting sets of cited references and do some in-depth comparisons. I'll report back when that's completed.

That said, however, I think that looking at what the three databases cover just in terms of types of materials, dates covered, total number of items indexed/covered then a clearer picture emerges of how and where the differences might occur. This chart takes information directly from each product's web site and gives only a superficial look at what's really under the hood. Notice that Google Scholar is not at all forthcoming about the depth and breadth of what material they are covering.

It may be that you won't be able to select a 'best' resource for cited reference searching and that depending on your discipline and the purpose for your cited reference search, you might end up using multiple resources to get the best result.


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