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Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 59, 10 (2008) 1570-1581
Intra-disciplinary differences in database coverage and the consequences for bibliometric research
Tove Faber Frandsen 1, Jeppe Nicolaisen

Bibliographic databases (including databases based on open access) are routinely used for bibliometric research. The value of a specific database depends to a large extent on the coverage of the discipline(s) under study. A number of studies have determined the coverage of databases in specific disciplines focusing on inter-disciplinary differences. However, little is known about the potential existence of intra-disciplinary differences in database coverage. Focusing on intra-disciplinary differences, the paper documents large database coverage differences within two disciplines (economics and psychology). The point extends to include both the uneven coverage of specialties and research traditions. The implications for bibliometric research are discussed, and precautions which need to be taken are outlined.
1:  Royal School of Library and Information Science (RSLIS)
Humanities and Social Sciences/Library and information sciences
database coverage – bibliometrics – open access
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