Saturday, July 09, 2011

Using Google Scholar for More Than Your h-Index

The comments from the last post (thanks, David Andersen) spurred me to mention the following.

I do check Google Scholar for my own work fairly regularly.  Not to keep continuously updated on my h-index (though, I suppose, that's a side benefit).  But I've found it very useful to look at who is citing my work.  For older areas of research where I'm (at least temporarily) inactive, it's useful to keep track on what's gone on since I've been paying close attention.  For areas where I'm still doing research, it's helpful to know what's out there -- so I can cite it, I can see where the area is going, and I can know who is working in the area.  Keeping up to date this way can also suggest new research problems or collaborations.  Being able to access the citation graph so easily is, I think, very helpful.

I do the same thing using full-text search for myself on the arXiv, and I even Google myself on the Web.  (I've found blog posts mentioning me or this blog that I wouldn't otherwise have known about that way.)

So no, I don't think it's egotistical to check yourself on Google scholar.  I think it's just a good research practice to keep tabs on who is citing your work.

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