A ranking of scientific publishers according to Google Scholar: the Spanish case

Emilio Delgado López-Cózar edelgado at UGR.ES
Wed Mar 11 06:55:51 EDT 2015

I am pleased to announce the first publisher ranking developed from 
Google Scholar data. It is accessible from 
http://www.publishers-scholarmetrics.info. It is a bibliometric index 
which aims to measure the impact of scientific books publishers by 
analyzing citations to monographs published by professors and 
researchers of Spanish public universities in the Humanities and the 
Social Sciences and indexed on Google Scholar in 2012 (when the data was 

These publisher rankings have been manufactured from a sample 
containing the 7,203 most cited books published by 40,993 Spanish 
researchers and indexed on Google Scholar. These books have received a 
total of 417,153 citations. The rankings are presented by scientific 
disciplines and specializations to which Spanish university professors 
are ascribed to.

A preliminary analysis of these results reveals interesting conclusions 
which directly affect some book indexing programmes like the ones 
initiated by Thomson Reuters and Scopus.
•	43% of the most cited documents written by Spanish university 
professors are books. This figure varies greatly between different 
specialties: 2% in Psychobiology, and 73% in Art History.
•	Huge dispersion of publishers: 7,203 highly cited books are published 
by 1,782 publishers.
•	The top 100 most cited publishers (95th percentile) publish 65.9% of 
all highly cited documents and receive 69.3% of all the citations to 
these documents.
•	Predominance of commercial publishers (64 out of the top 100 most 
cited publishers), although publicly funded publishers also play an 
important role (24 university publishers, 11 publishers funded by 
regional and local administrations).
•	Overwhelming predominance of national publishers against foreign ones 
(93 Spanish publishers). The first foreign publisher is Cambridge 
University Press, which occupies the 39th position in the global 
We believe this situation will probably be very similar in many 
countries around the world, and especially in countries like France, 
Italy, and Germany, with a long tradition of research on these 
disciplines. With this information in hand, we must ask: Is the coverage 
of Thomson’s Book Citation Index and Elsevier’s Titles Expansion Program 
appropriate for the Humanities and the Social Sciences?  Let’s try not 
repeat the mistakes of the past.

Regardless of the results, the two main objectives of this product are

•         To determine the reliability and validity of the information 
provided by Google Scholar in order to detect the core of scientific 
publishers with a higher influence in the various disciplines that 
conform the Humanities and the Social Sciences.
•         To verify the suitability of Google Scholar as a tool for 
retrieving the scientific output of researchers in the Humanities and 
the Social Sciences, since their work is seldom covered in traditional 
databases because of their peculiar publication habits.

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.

Kind regards,

Emilio Delgado Lopez-oózar
EC3 Research Group
Universidad de Granada

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