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Front. Res. Metr. Anal. | doi: 10.3389/frma.2018.00006

Tale of Three Databases - The Implication of Coverage Demonstrated for a Sample Query

  • 1Department of Information Science, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

Coverage is an important criterion when evaluating information systems. This exploratory study investigates this issue by submitting the same query to different databases relevant to the query topic. Data were retrieved from three databases: ACM Digital Library, Web of Science (WOS) (with the Proceedings Citation Index) and Scopus. The search phrase was “information retrieval”, publication years were between 2013 and 2016. Altogether 8,699 items were retrieved, out of which 5,306 (61%) items were retrieved by a single database only, and only 977 (11%) items were located in all three databases. The results from the three databases were analyzed and compared by number of publications and citations counts, for the whole time period and by year. Document types distribution and the h-indices of the retrieved datasets were also compared. The 977 items retrieved by all three databases were further analyzed, citations were also compared to altmetric data for these publications, collected from Mendeley.

Keywords: Correlation, coverage; bibliometrics; citation databases; comparison, coverage, Bibliometrics, Citation databases, comparison

Received: 03 Dec 2017; Accepted: 01 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Neil R. Smalheiser, University of Illinois at Chicago, United States

Reviewed by:

Philippe Mongeon, Université de Montréal, Canada
Shenmeng Xu, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Bar-Ilan. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Judit Bar-Ilan, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Information Science, Ramat Gan, 5200002, Israel,