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Dimensions: re-discovering the ecosystem of scientific information

Enrique Orduña-Malea, Emilio Delgado-López-Cózar



The overarching aim of this work is to provide a detailed description of the free version of Dimensions (new bibliographic database produced by Digital Science and launched in January 2018). To do this, the work is divided into two differentiated blocks. First, its characteristics, operation, and features are described, focusing on its main strengths and weaknesses. Secondly, an analysis of its coverage is carried out (comparing it against Web of Science Core CollectionScopus and Google Scholar) in order to determine whether the bibliometric indicators offered by Dimensions have an order of magnitude significant enough to be used. To this end, an analysis is carried out at three levels: journals (sample of 20 publications in ‘Library & Information Science’), documents (276 articles published by the Journal of informetrics between 2013 and 2015), and authors (28 people awarded with the Derek de Solla Price prize). Preliminary results indicate that Dimensions has coverage of the recent literature superior to Scopus, although inferior to Google Scholar. With regard to the number of citations received, Dimensions offers slightly lower figures than Scopus. Despite this, the number of citations in Dimensions exhibits a strong correlation with Scopus and somewhat less (although still significant) with Google Scholar. For this reason, it is concluded that Dimensions is an alternative for carrying out citation studies, able to rival Scopus (greater coverage and free of charge) and Google Scholar (greater functionalities for the treatment and data export).

Palabras clave

Dimensions; Bibliographic databases; Bibliometric portals; Bibliometrics; Online academic profiles; Research evaluation; Discovery tools.

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