[Sigmetrics] WoS, SCOPUS, Google Scholar and finding OA papers and their proportion

Stevan Harnad amsciforum at gmail.com
Sun Nov 29 08:21:18 EST 2015

In “Web of Science, Scopus, and Open Access: What they are doing right and
what they are doing wrong
 Ryan Regier discusses the current capacities and limitations
of WoS,SCOPUS, Google Scholar in finding OA papers and their proportions
(OA/total). Most of the discussion is about Gold OA, but Regier notes that
GS can be used for Green OA, though inefficient.

I would add that the way to find just about all OA articles and to
calculate the proportion of a university’s total articles that are OA is
not to (1) seek them or (2) their proportion in WoS or SCOPUS. That way,
the only OA articles you’ll find are the Gold OA ones, and their

Yes, google scholar (GS) is the way an individual researcher can find OA
articles on a particular topic, and yes the search, as well as the
calculation of the proportion has to be done by hand (to see which hits
have an OA version). This is much more useful than WoS or SCOPUS, because
it covers Green OA too, but it requires a lot of manual work that could be
reduced as soon as GS does a little tweaking of data and metadata it
already has (author name, institution, pub date), even to an approximation.

Already (to a very crude approximation) I can get all the GS articles on
“slender loris” (3200) narrow it down to 2014-2015 (198) or to (“slender
loris” “university of illinois”) (42) or to (“slender loris” “university of
illinois”) 2014-2015 (2).

Combining WoS or SCOPUS data and GS I could also get an approximate
estimate of OA/total output, for an individual university, per year,
without reaching the GS robot limit for an institution.

Tedious. inefficient, and very approximate, admittedly, but a taste of
what’s to come (and what GS can and will make much easier and more
efficient) — once universities and funders do their part, which is to adopt
strong, effective Green OA mandates.

Vincent-Lamarre, Philippe, Boivin, Jade, Gargouri, Yassine, Larivière,
Vincent and Harnad, Stevan (2016) Estimating Open Access Mandate
Effectiveness: The MELIBEA Score <http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/370203/>. *Journal
of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) (in
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