Google Scholar: Wrong master record
No less than 19 versions of the same record
Many publications have multiple occurrences on the Web. For instance my 2009 article with Nancy Adler occurs no less than 19 times.
Google usually identifies the correct master record
In nearly all cases, Google Scholar correctly identifies the most appropriate record – usually on the official publisher’s website – as the “master record” to which all citations are ascribed. In the first example, this is the website of the Academy of Management’s journal Academy of Management Learning & Education.
Sometimes Google Scholar gets it wrong, very wrong
However, in an estimated 2-3% of the publications, Google Scholar – for unknown reasons – “picks” the wrong record as master record, even if a more appropriate one is available. The article below occurs 15 times, but Google Scholar somehow picked the “worst” master record, a pdf on http.tarma.com that when clicking on it provides a “404 file not found”.
Even if a "perfect" version is available
A full-text pre-publication version of this article is available from no less than seven sources; even the published version is available from four different sources, including the publisher’s website (see below):
Wrong master record presents wrong year and wrong title
As a result of the wrongly attributed master record this publication appears in Google Scholar (and Publish or Perish) not only with the wrong title (the title was changed in the final revision), but also with the wrong publication year. Fortunately, these problems are rare, especially with journal articles published by mainstream publishers.
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Copyright © 2017 Anne-Wil Harzing. All rights reserved. Page last modified on Sun 12 Mar 2017 15:06
Anne-Wil Harzing is Professor of International Management at Middlesex University, London. In addition to her academic duties, she also maintains the Journal Quality List and is the driving force behind the popular Publish or Perish software program.