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Assessing the scholarly impact of information studies: A tale of two citation databases—Scopus and Web of Science



This study uses citations, from 1996 to 2007, to the work of 80 randomly selected full-time, information studies (IS) faculty members from North America to examine differences between Scopus and Web of Science in assessing the scholarly impact of the field focusing on the most frequently citing journals, conference proceedings, research domains and institutions, as well as all citing countries. Results show that when assessment is limited to smaller citing entities (e.g., journals, conference proceedings, institutions), the two databases produce considerably different results, whereas when assessment is limited to larger citing entities (e.g., research domains, countries), the two databases produce very similar pictures of scholarly impact. In the former case, the use of Scopus (for journals and institutions) and both Scopus and Web of Science (for conference proceedings) is necessary to more accurately assess or visualize the scholarly impact of IS, whereas in the latter case, assessing or visualizing the scholarly impact of IS is independent of the database used.