Open access?

Loet Leydesdorff loet at LEYDESDORFF.NET
Wed Apr 11 13:34:15 EDT 2012

Dear Stephen, 

Important limitations for bibliometric research are the limits for the
1. Google Scholar: 1000
2. Scopus: 2000
3. WoS 100,000

In version 5 of WoS one can see retrievals larger than 100,000, but not
download them.
PoP gives an error message when the retrieval is larger than 1,000.

WoS does qualifies as the best system for evaluations which in addition to a
publication also normalize against a reference set. Otherwise, the other
databases are more recent in their organization. (For example, cited
references in Scopus are identified and one can move to the institutional


-----Original Message-----
From: ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Metrics
[mailto:SIGMETRICS at LISTSERV.UTK.EDU] On Behalf Of Stephen J. Bensman
Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 5:00 PM
Subject: Re: [SIGMETRICS] Open access?

Thank you for the Guardian articles on Elsevier.  I would like to add some
observations of my own on this matter.  Elsevier runs a good operation and
publishes important materials.  I work with their support people and find
them informative and helpful.  But Elsevier has always been non-cooperative,
tries to force people to operate within its system, and monopolizes its
materials to maximize its profit.  This is the nature of the beast.

This tendency has recently had extremely negative consequences.  
Since November, 2004, the field of scientometric evaluative data has been
been in a state of revolution.  In that month Elsevier launched Scopus, and
Google launched Google Scholar, breaking the monopolistic hold Thompson
Reuters ISI had on evaluative scientometric data.  Since then there has been
a Hobbesian battle among these three titans, because--if I am
correct--production and control of such data is very profitable.  Such data
is particularly needed in Europe and other places, where science and
universities are funded by the central governments, which need such data for
allocation decisions.  Thompson Reuters ISI (The Empire) has struck back by
abandoning its long-standing policy of relying on mainly journals and
launching its Book Citation Index.

Google Scholar was really too difficult to use for evaluative purposes, but
this has changed with the launching of the Publish or Perish program by
Anne-Wil Harzing.  This program can be retrieved for free from her Web site
at  It is revolutionary in that it establishes
effective statistical and bibliographic control over Google Scholar, making
it feasible to use it for evaluative purposes.  I am doing research with
others to test the vaiidity of using Google Scholar for evaluative purposes,
using data which Anne-Wil has graciously given me with her program.  It is
the most stupendous and interesting data set I have ever worked with.
However, in doing this research, I came across this statement on Elsevier's
SciVerse Web site at the following URL:

If one knows anything how Web seach engines operate, it is quite obvious
that this is a knife aimed by Elsevier at Google's jugular, blocking it from
indexing the publications of one of the leading publishers of scientific
materials.  Since I working with chemistry, I am going to have to check what
effect this has on Google Scholar.  
Fortunately Anne-Wil's data allows me to determine from where Google Scholar
is retrieving its data.  The only question I have is whether this is an
advantageous or self-destructive move on the part of Elsevier, whose
publications and authors will be rated lower by Google Scholar, which can be
utilized without cost by cash-strapped institutions.

Stephen J. Bensman, Ph.D.
LSU Libraries
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803


On Tue, 10 Apr 2012 20:29:03 +0100, Quentin Burrell 
<quentinburrell at MANX.NET> wrote:

>Adminstrative info for SIGMETRICS (for example unsubscribe):
>Members might be interested in these two related articles in today's 
Guardian newspaper.
>Quentin Burrell

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