Monday, October 22, 2007

Science indicators revisited

Science indicators revisited - Science Citation Index vs. SCOPUS: A bibliometric comparison of both citation databasesThis article reports on a comparison of Science Citation Index, (which the authors describe as the only multidisciplinary database for measuring response to scientific publications for over 30 years), to SCOPUS, a direct competitor to SCI since 2005. Selected bibliometric analyses conducted in both databases for identical periods of time investigated the number of articles covered in each database, the number of non-cited articles, areas of interest in the databases, and the results of a specialized search on the topic of "fuel cells".

Among the findings from this comparison: SCOPUS covers a broader range of journals than SCI, but only from 1996 onwards, and citations are only fully available from this date onwards; in comparison, SCI's citation coverage extends back to 1945. Another finding reported is that the databases cover areas of interest with varying intensity. Additionally, SCOPUS has half the areas of interest of SCI, and all of the areas of interest represented in SCOPUS are also found in SCI.

The overriding conclusion of the authors is that "the SCI benchmark is still the number one worldwide", but the choice of database used should be made "with great care and on the basis of content". The findings detailed for each area of investigation in this article should be helpful in making this decision.