Accuracy

Note: This tutorial was originally written for Publish or Perish version 4 and all screenshots come from this version. However, the information as such is also applicable for the latest Publish or Perish version 5. For information about accuracy in Microsoft Academic, please see the helpfile.

Contrary to what some users think, PoP does not give results that are different from Google Scholar! Publish or Perish is as accurate or as inaccurate as Google Scholar itself.

PoP vs GS: Same search gives the same results

If you conduct the same search in Publish or Perish as in Google Scholar, you will get the same result. We do not perform any magic or make adjustments to your record!

PoP vs GS: Different results caused by different search

If the Publish or Perish results differ from the ones you get by using Google Scholar directly, this is typically caused by the fact that Publish or Perish uses the Advanced Scholar Search capabilities of Google Scholar, whereas your manual search probably used the standard Google Scholar search.

The latter is equivalent to an All of the words search, which matches the search terms anywhere in the searched documents (author, title, source, abstract, references etc.) and usually provides far too many irrelevant results for an effective citation analysis.

Worked example: standard search vs. author search

If you would for instance search for my name using the standard Google Scholar search (i.e. All of the words) rather than the author search, you would get more than 1,000 papers and more than 40,000 citations (see screenshot). Instead an author search for “harzing a” results in “just” 300 papers and 9500 citations.

tip15

General search matches search terms anywhere in the document

The all of the words search matches “harzing a” anywhere in the document, including all articles citing my work that appear in full-text in Google Scholar and where “harzing a” appears in the reference list. Please note that the order does matter in the All of the words field, so we search for “harzing a”, not “a harzing”, as references will usually reproduce author names as "family name, initial". As you can see, the first 8 papers in the results were not authored by me.

Google scholar rank differs from citation rank

In the above screenshot the resulting papers are ordered by the number of citations, not by Google Scholar rank, which is the standard ranking for a general search. As you can see in the rank column, articles that are less relevant (i.e. that do not have my name in a prominent field, such as the author field) have a low Google Scholar rank (145-622), whereas the first paper that is authored by me has a high Google Scholar rank (#2)

Want to replicate standard Google Scholar search in Publish or Perish?

If you really do want to get the same results in Publish or Perish as with a standard Google Scholar search, do the following.

  1. Go to the General citation search page.
  2. Empty all text fields except All of the words.
  3. Enter your query terms in the All of the words field.
  4. Set the Year of publication fields both to 0.
  5. Clear the Title words only field.
  6. Click on Lookup.
  7. When the results appear, click on the Rank column header to sort the results in the order in which Google Scholar returned them.

Support Publish or Perish

The development of the Publish or Perish software is a volunteering effort that has been ongoing since 2006. Download and use of Publish or Perish is and will remain free (gratis), but your support toward the costs of hosting, bandwidth, and software development are appreciated. Your support helps further development of Publish or Perish for new data sources and additional features.

Feedback

PS: If you are using Publish or Perish on a regular basis, please take 5 minutes to provide me with some feedback.