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Systematic analysis of coverage and usage of conference proceedings in web of science

: Michels, Carolin; Fu, Jun-Ying


Scientometrics 100 (2014), No.2, pp.307-327
ISSN: 0138-9130
ISSN: 1588-2861
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()
web of science; conference proceedings; publication analysis; citation analysis; fields of science

The role of conference proceedings for scientific communication varies among the different research fields. It is thus difficult to determine how to use them in bibliometric studies that cover all or at least a variety of the research fields without favouring or penalizing observation subjects that are specialized in fields that rely heavily on conference proceedings. Also, the coverage of conference proceedings in bibliometric databases is often unclear. Not only have there been reports of misclassification but also of insufficient coverage. In this study, the Web of Science is used to give an overview of coverage of conference proceedings as well as advantages and pitfalls of their usage in bibliometric analyses. In particular, the focus lies on different citation behaviour of and for conference proceedings and the implications for bibliometric indicators. This is complemented by an investigation of the development of coverage and publication behaviour in conference proceedings which is compared to those of journal publications. Finally, the importance but also drawbacks and opportunities of acknowledging conference proceedings publications for bibliometric studies are summarized.