A Google Scholar profile is a very simple way of collating your publications (and citations to them) so that others can find your work and often find an accessible copy that they can read. Once you have set up the profile, you can choose automatic updates so you don’t need to spend a lot of time updating your publications list. If you create a Google Scholar profile, your profile will come high up the page rankings if people are searching for your work.
If you are working in an area that is not well covered by the Scopus or Clarivate bibliometric tools, you can use the free Publish or Perish software to analyse your citations using the data from your Google Scholar profile.
Be aware that this free service is provided by Google and may not be continued indefinitely.
Setting up a Google Scholar Profile
Setting up a profile only takes a few minutes.
- You’ll need a Google account before you can begin – use your existing account or create one.
- Go to Google Scholar and click on ‘My citations’
- Follow the instructions, adding your affiliation information and your University email address. (Remember to validate the address – you’ll receive an email asking you to do this).
- Add keywords relating to your research and add a link to your University home page (if you have one)
- Add a photo if you want to personalise your profile.
- Click on ‘Next step’ to create your basic profile.
- Add your publications – Google will probably suggest the correct ones and ask you to confirm that they are yours. Be careful if you have a common name as publications by others may be included in the suggestions. There may also be some types of articles that you don’t want to include (Google indexes lots of content such as newsletters, book reviews etc, not just scholarly articles).
- To find missing publications, you can search using article titles or DOIs. You can also add missing publications manually if required.
- Make your profile public – this means that others will be able to find it and discover your body of work.
Once you’ve set up your profile, Google Scholar will update it with publications that it thinks are yours. You can choose between automatic updating and manual updating during the set-up process.
Why are Google Scholar citations higher than those in Scopus or Web of Science?
You may find that the number of citations to your works in Google Scholar is higher than in other databases such as Scopus, Web of Knowledge or Microsoft Academic.
In contrast to other databases, Google Scholar does not provide a list of the sources that it is searching to find citations to your work. There have been concerns about the quality of the citations that are counted as they may not originate from peer-reviewed literature. Google Scholar will count citations from online slide sets, reports, undergraduate essays and other sources. Google Scholar may also not pick up citations from older content as it may not be available in a digital format.
Citations to some sources, for example, books, maybe much better in Google Scholar because they are not covered in the other subscription bibliographic databases. The inclusion of citations to books can be very useful for researchers in which non-journal article outputs are more common.