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Reciprocal links between Google Scholar and Web of Science

[go to Dutch version of this post]

by @jeroenbosman

updates between []

Announced earlier but now available: reciprocal links between Google Scholar and Web of Science, the citation database from Thomson Reuters. For those with access to Web of Science there is now the option to quickly jump from a search result in Google Scholar to a list of citing articles in Web of Science, with all the special bells and whistles the WoS offers. WoS even shows citing articles from other Thomson Reuters databases such as the Book Citation Index, the Data Citation Index, and the recently integrated selection of Spanish and Portuguese sources from Scielo.

Afbeelding Afbeelding

So now you combine Google Scholar’s speed, full text search and ease use with the more elaborate, systematic and quality controlled functionality in Web of Science. It would have been nice if WoS not only showed the citing articles but also the record of the article itself. That would offer people to easily switch from Scholar to WoS if they wish to download quality metadata into their Endnote, RefWorks and other reference tools. Maybe that will follow soon.

[update 20131122: Google Scholar only shows outgoing links to Web of Science for publications from 1989 onwards – hattip Eic Sieverts]

Reversely Web of Science now shows a link to Google Scholar in all records:


The link to Google Scholar has the text: “look up full text – Google Scholar”. Library link resolvers are pushed aside. WoS users now have more ways to get to the full text documents. Link resolvers as the Utrecht UBUlink shown in the image above mainly lead users to licensed versions at publishers and other (reseller) platforms and Open Access journals. Google Scholar’s primary (title)link often leads to the publisher version but the added value here is that Scholar is also quite good at detecting other (free) versions in institutional repositories, ResearchGate and  Academia.edu, private author websites, pre-print servers etc. The extra full text links in Web of Science bring some confusion but also real opportunities for users knowing how to use them wisely.

[update 20131122. This link from WoS to Google Scholar has its problems because it is a simple one based on first author and titlewords. Especially with surnames having prefixes this regularly fails because WoS has e.g. VanSant and Google Scholal has Van Sant with a space. hattip Eric Sieverts]

For Google this deal with Thomson Reuters may offer them some extra users, but more importantly the endorsement of usefulness from a side that traditionally dismissed Google Scholar as a big, low quality, uncontrolled and unsystematic mega container of scholarly and less scholary texts. For Thomson Reuters it helps retaining customers that do not like to spend too much time in a system that does (did) not offer easy links to full text and of course attracts new users based on the enormous amount of eyeballs watching Google Scholar.

Students and researchers who are in the lucky position to be member of a rich institution with a WoS license get a bunch of very useful reciprocal links just like that. I do hope they understand where the real value added is and do not shortchange themselves by thinking that if the route to full text though Google leads them to a paywall they are out of options. In many cases the link resolver may still have the easiest and most trustworthy link to a platform where your institution licensed the stuff you need. Trying the other way when the first fails seems the best advice.

Now librarians, all start updating your websites and classes …. 😉

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