Fancy having a 720-page table that lists all humanities journals in the two major commercial subscription databases, and tells you which journal is to be found in which database?…

journal-table

The June 2009 “A Comparative International Study of Scientific Journal Databases in the Social Sciences and the Humanities” (PDF link, 2.8Mb) by Michele Dassa and Christine Kosmopoulos is just that. Amazingly, it seems to be the first time such a table has been compiled…

“Presented here for the first time in a comparative table are the contents of the databases … in the Social Sciences and the Humanities, of the Web of Science (published by Thomson Reuters) and of Scopus (published by Elsevier), as well as of the biographical lists European Reference Index for Humanities (ERIH) … and of the French Agence d’Evaluation de la Recherche et de l’Enseignement Superieur (AERES). With some 20,000 entries, this is an almost exhaustive overview of the wealth of publications in the Social Sciences and the Humanities …”

This might be read in combination with a May 2009 Gale Reference Review review of three major academic search-engines, which took a sceptical look at both Web of Science (WoS) and Scopus…

“I looked at the widely touted figures in the promotional materials [ of WoS and Scopus and found ] they should not be taken for granted. Many of these are incorrect and exaggerated. Their compilation has been fast and loose, sometimes making them fiction rather than fact.”

“The coverage of arts & humanities [ in Scopus ] is extremely poor (representing barely 1% of the database) [ and by comparison ] Web of Science has about […] 10 times as many for arts & humanities.” [ and even if Scopus gets a boost, as proposed, it would still only have ] about 1/6th of what Web of Science has for these disciplines”

“It is one thing that Scopus has no cited references in records for papers published before 1996, but it adds insult to injury that the pre-1996 papers are ignored. This results in absurdly low h-index for many of the senior teaching and research faculty members and independent researchers who published papers well before 1996 which have been widely cited in the past 25-35 years […] Lazy administrators and bureaucrats stop here and ignore [ worthy people ] for some lifetime award”

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