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Measuring Nursing Faculty Impact: Web of Science versus Scopus


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Medical Library Association Annaul Meeting

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Objective To compare Web of Science™ and Scopus™ databases for tracking faculty productively, citation metrics, and reported impact. Our library currently offers a Web of Science based service to track user requested impact. However, certain fields may be under reported due to inadequate publication coverage. As a competitor database, Scopus was identified to provide comparison for title coverage and reported impact. Methods The 2012 School of Nursing faculty was used as a case study for comparing faculty impact metrics available from each database. Using full names, name variations, and available curricula vitae, career publication searches were conducted by two independent searchers in both Web of Science and Scopus. In each database, collected results were limited to original research as designated by the provided labels of Article, Conference Proceedings or Proceedings Paper, and Review. Individual faculty impact such as publication count, citation counts, and H-index were recorded from each database. Journal coverage was also analyzed and compared for quality and impact measures such as referred status, MedLine inclusion, and SciMago Journal Rank. Results Our analysis showed Scopus provides a 20% increase in coverage for faculty publications with an accompanying increase in citation counts. This wider coverage resulted in an equivalent or higher faculty impact for 95% of the included faculty, as measured by the H-index. However, this increased coverage resulted in 13% lower journal impact as measured by SciMago Journal Rank. This trend persisted across the majority of faculty ranks and position titles. Conclusions In comparison to Web of Science, Scopus provided wider coverage for School of Nursing publications, and a subsequently reported higher individual faculty impact. However, increased coverage also resulted in lower overall journal impact of faculty publications. When presented to key administrators, a decision was made to continue with the Web of Science based service, rather than re-align the service with Scopus based data. Differences in the journal impact metrics available between the two databases, and the compatibility of such metrics across the academic campus heavily influenced decision making.

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This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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