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Do Google Scholar and Web of Science reflect women’s and men’s scholarly impact differently? A comparison of U.S. researchers in sociology and economics

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Several studies have demonstrated differences in Google Scholars' and Web of Science's coverage of citing publications. In this paper, we examine whether citation data retrieved from Web of Science and Google Scholar reflect women's and men's scholarly impact differently. Our study is based on a sample of 200 randomly selected U.S. authors in economics- and sociology-related research areas. Our results illustrate noteworthy gender disparities in the per-paper citation rates across the two databases. In sociology, we find that women benefit more than men, when impact assessments are based on data from Google Scholar, while the opposite is the case in economics. If our results prove to be robust in a larger data-set, based on a more exhaustive matching of documents, they illustrate how the selection of data-sources can have consequences for how individual scholars are assessed, e.g. in tenure or grant review evaluations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th International Conference on Scientometrics and Informetrics
Number of pages6
Publication year2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event16th International Conference on Scientometrics and Informetrics - Wuhan, China
Duration: 16 Oct 201720 Oct 2017
Conference number: 16


Conference16th International Conference on Scientometrics and Informetrics

    Research areas

  • Data accuracy and disambiguation, Journals, databases and electronic publications, Science policy and research assessment, The application of informetrics on evaluation

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