Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Google Scholar -- The Swedes Made Me Do it and Why It Is Worth It

Readers of my blog know how much I LOVED being a Visiting Professor at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, where I spent several months last year, as part of my sabbatical.

I seem to get my "muse" in Europe and, especially, in Sweden, where I have written several books. Perhaps it is due to the culture, the beauty, the people, the history, quality of life, the food, and the history. Also, it does not hurt, that Gothenburg (Goteborg in Swedish) was voted in the top 15 most inventive cities in the world, based on the number of patents granted per population -- two other cities in Sweden -- Stockholm and Malmo -- also made this list (as did Boston in good old Massachusetts, which also made me happy). Eindhoven in The Netherlands was tops.

I heard from one of my wonderful colleagues in Gothenburg this morning, Professor Jonas Floden, and that inspired me to write this post that I have been ruminating on for a while.

Last summer, while in Gothenburg, I received the following message from my senior, fabulous colleague, Professor Johan Woxenius:

Dear all,

As part of the evaluation of the transport research we do together with Chalmers, from which you are funded, we use our librarians to analyse our scientific outcome. We get info about your publications from the library´s database GUP, but to analyse citations we have chosen to use Google Scholar that is comparatively inclusive in its search for publications and citations.

In order to facilitate the librarians work but even more for you not having to manually submit all publications and citations in the yearly survey, all researchers need to register at Google Scholar. For instance, we want to follow the progress in our collective h-index and i10 index. That’s why I have send you an invitation through Google Scholar.

The registration process is very simple, but you need to check that your publications are really yours, that they are all there and if any are registered as different publications lowering your stats.

For me it was very simple due to my unusual name and that I keep rather good track of my publications, I think it was only one publication that was registered as two different. It might be a bit more toilsome if you have a very common name. Anyway, when I searched for your names, there were not many registered researchers with the same names.  

Personally, I find Google Scholar very useful and it is particularly interesting to see who cites my work and of course pleasant to receive alerts of new citations!

Please let me know when you have registered so I do not have to remind you.

So, I signed up for Google Scholar, and it is fun to see which of your publications are cited the most and also the trends. My books tend to be the most highly cited

Of course, there are other ways of tracking your publications, but this one is for free and, although there has been criticism levied, and there can be some "gaming" done, you do get a good idea of which of your publications are being cited. 

Also, it is interesting to see your h-index and i10-index and what surprised me is that quite a few faculty now include these "metrics" on their webpages and even cv's.

And, just this week, I found out, through Google Scholar alerts, that one of my papers written with Dr. June Dong, "Financial Networks and Optimally-Sized Portfolios," published in Computational Economics, has been cited in a patent granted to HP! The patent, System and Method for Selecting a Portfolio,  also cited a paper by Dr. Dorit Hochbaum, well-known in operations research -- how cool is this!

Two other papers of mine, also co-authored with females, Dr. June Dong, Dr. Pat Mokhtarian, and Dr. Tina Wakolbinger, and supported by an NSF grant, have also been cited in 3 other granted patents.