The Google Scholar Digest reports on two revealing articles of analysis about the depth – or coverage – of Google Scholar.
How many academic documents are visible and freely available on the Web? by Granada & Valencia (June 12).
Digest of The number of scholarly documents on the public web. Khabsa, M. & Giles, C. Lee. PLOS One v.9, n.5.
The Digest recapped the four main research questions.
- Estimate of number of academic papers are circulating on the web in Englaish: 114 million
- Number of documents written in English in Google Scholar: 99.3 million or 87%
- Estimate of number available for free: 27 million or one in four.
- Differences between scientific fields and disciplines: Significant – about 50% for computer science; 45% for multidisciplinary and economics and business; declining to 10% for engineering, agricultural science, material science
Findings are preliminary.
This makes the next article about how much of the the World Bank’s database of reports that Google Scholar has indexed all the more interesting.
The World Bank’s policy reports in Google Scholar. Are they visible, cited, and downloaded?, by Granada & Valencia (June 12)
Digest of Which World Bank reports are widely read? World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, n. 6851,by Doemeland, Doerte & Trevino, James. (May 2014)
The authors found that GS had indexed 74.5% of the reports classified as “Economic and Sector Work” or as “Technical Assistance” for 2008-2012.
“The most suggestive results of this work concerning our object of study (scientific knowledge about Google Scholar) are the empirical evidences provided on the wide and diverse coverage of Google’s academic search engine. They confirm something well-known: Google Scholar, unlike other traditional bibliographic databases that are mainly focused on indexing journal articles and conference proceedings, collects instances of all the types of documents produced in the scientific domain (articles, conference proceedings, books and book chapters), as well as the academic circles (doctoral theses, master’s or undergraduate theses, teaching materials) and of special interest in this work, the professional world (patents, scientific/technical reports).”
But, Google Scholar Digest noted that the World Bank launched Open Knowledge Repository in 2012. Does GS index 75% of it? It appears not – only 17.1%.
As a preliminary conclusion, we found that, even though Google Scholar gathers more document types than any other database, the visibility of World Bank reports in Google Scholar is far from being complete. And this is only considering the material deposited in the official repository, not to mention the remaining material that may be allocated in other subdomains of the World Bank.