Alternative data sources for bibliometric analyses: pros and cons, benefits and caveats

The fourth RISIS Research Seminar will take place on 9th December from 12:30 am to 2:00 pm (CET) and will focus on Alternative data sources for bibliometric analyses: pros and cons, benefits and caveats a presentation by Dr. Martijn Visser, (CWTS, University of Leiden). Dr. Alberto Martín-Martín, Universidad de Granada is involved as a discussant.


The study illustrates a large-scale comparison of five multidisciplinary bibliographic data sources: Scopus, Web of Science, Dimensions, Crossref, and Microsoft Academic. Coverage differences between those data sources are determined at the level of individual scientific documents. The analysis relates to all documents processed by these data sources from the period 2008-2017.



The presentation will focus on differences in coverage of disciplines, of different types of publication sources (journals, proceedings etc.), and of publication years. Apart from coverage, the presentation gives the opportunity to discuss also data quality and data enrichment aspects of the different data sources. More specifically, the researcher will present results of an analysis regarding the completeness and accuracy of citation links and the completeness of author affiliations, and the degree to which these affiliations are linked to internal or external registers of standardized organizations.


The investigation into the strengths and limitations of alternative data sources on publication output that are available under different conditions and costs is highly relevant for the future of the RISIS data infrastructure.


Full paper