Comparing Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar from an Environmental Sciences perspective

Leslie S. Adriaanse, Chris Rensleigh


This paper presents a macro- and micro-level comparison of the citation resources Web of Science (WOS), Scopus and Google Scholar (GS) for the environmental sciences scholarly journals in South Africa during 2004-2008. The macro-level measuring instruments consisted of 26 evaluation criteria with the following broad categories: content, access, services, interface, searching, search results, cost, citation and analytical tools, and linking abilities. The micro-level measuring instruments evaluation criteria represented the data fields of the journal records to establish comprehensivity. The macro-level evaluation results indicated that Scopus surpassed both WOS and GS whereas the micro-level evaluation results indicated that WOS surpassed both Scopus and GS. Based on the macro- and micro-level evaluation results the study was able to establish that GS is not yet a substitute but rather a supplementary citation resource for the fee-based WOS and/or Scopus for the South African international accredited scholarly environmental sciences journals during the period 2004-2008.


Web of Science; Scopus; Google Scholar; citation resources; citation resource comparison

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2304-8263 (online); ISSN 0256-8861 (print)
Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2012.


This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.