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Using Google Scholar Institutional Level Data to Evaluate the Quality of University Research

Mingers, John, O'Hanley, Jesse R., Okunola, Musbaudeen (2017) Using Google Scholar Institutional Level Data to Evaluate the Quality of University Research. Scientometrics, 113 (3). pp. 1627-1643. ISSN 0138-9130. E-ISSN 1588-2861. (doi:10.1007/s11192-017-2532-6) (KAR id:63635)

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In recent years, the extent of formal research evaluation, at all levels from the individual to the multiversity has increased dramatically. At the institutional level, there are world university rankings based on an ad hoc combination of different indicators. There are also national exercises, such as those in the UK and Australia that evaluate research outputs and environment through peer review panels. These are extremely costly and time consuming. This paper evaluates the possibility of using Google Scholar (GS) institutional level data to evaluate university research in a relatively automatic way. Several citation-based metrics are collected from GS for all 130 UK universities. These are used to evaluate performance and produce university rankings which are then compared with various rankings based on the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework (REF). The rankings are shown to be credible and to avoid some of the obvious problems of the REF ranking, as well as being highly efficient and cost effective. We also investigate the possibility of normalizing the results for the university subject mix since science subjects generally produce significantly more citations than social science or humanities.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s11192-017-2532-6
Uncontrolled keywords: scientometrics, research evaluation, research excellence framework (REF), Google Scholar
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Analytics, Operations and Systems
Depositing User: Jesse O'Hanley
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2017 11:21 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2021 10:57 UTC
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