This is, as far as I know, the first publication of temporal trends in Google Metrics.

For the last three years, Google Scholar has been releasing their Google Scholar Metrics. Recently, they released the 2015 batch.

These Metrics provide an insight into the most successful/impactful publication outlets for individual disciplines (and subdisciplines) and also allow one to explore the most cited papers by their h5 index (h5 for a venue/author is the n (number) of papers with at least n citations, in this case for a 5 year period).

There are problems with the way these data are collected (not all venues are monitored, and the coverage may not be 100%, see here). The coverage has been slowly improving over the years. GIScience is, however, still only covered in a patchy way. In particular the conferences (GIScience and COSIT, but also SDH and smaller workshops) are not covered as the Springer Lecture Notes are not monitored by Google and the individual volumes can not be well sorted.

Furthermore, some journals from the field are not covered either: JOSIS is not that new anymore, but together with Spatial Cognition and Computation they have troubles to meet at least 100 publications a year so far (see here again for coverage parameters). I assume this is the case for IJLBS as well.

Anyway, this project has been running for 3 years now and we can start looking at some trends (without any statistical insights, for this the series are too short). It is worth to note some separation of the journals into tears ( purely visually). NOte that this may not say anything about the quality of the venue itself (I consider EPB to be an excellent journal with great content, but maybe the audience is smaller/more niche).

It would be worth to compare this with past work of, say, Kemp, Kuhn and Brox (2013) [here], performing a Delphi study of GIScience journals.

Also note the discussion of the h5 index in here (Vrettas and Sanderson, 2015), suggesting that the size of the venue tends to lead to an over-inflation of its h5index. I would be happy to include additional venues into this, and share data for deeper investigation.

I am looking forward to comments!

GIScience Google Metrics trend


Vrettas, G. and Sanderson, M. (2015), Conferences versus journals in computer science. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. doi: 10.1002/asi.23349


The R Hadleyverse for rvest, tidyr, stringr, dplyr and ggvis! Great little problem to learn these!