Quick post here. 1science just released a new journal article and open access search tool, 1findr, today and I thought it be interesting to compare it to another similar search tool that launched a couple months ago, Dimensions.
Richard Poynder shared the below graph on twitter, but I wanted to get a look at the real numbers:
— Richard Poynder (@RickyPo) April 24, 2018
Just a quick note here before I begin. Publication counts in these tools are never static. There are always things being added, removed, and records cleaned up and merged. The numbers I have below are as of Apri 25, 2018 and will likely be different when you look at them.
EDIT: Tables on the WordPress mobile site are very hard to read. I recommend viewing the desktop site or using a mobile device with a wide screen.
So without further ado:
|Articles||OA Articles||%||Only Articles||OA Articles||%|
Note that 1findr searches only journal articles while Dimension searches across all scholarly documents (i.e. book chapters, proceedings), so I only looked at the number of journal articles in Dimensions.
You can check these numbers yourself – or look at older years – by wildcard searching (“*”) and then filtering by year, publication type and open access.
It’s clear that 1findr indexes more scholarly articles and also finds more open access.
If we look at all the publications in Dimensions, these are the numbers:
|All Publications||All Open Access||%|
When you look at all the items the percentage of open access goes down because other publication formats haven’t seen the same advances in open access as journal articles have.
Also, it’s interesting here that when you compare all items in Dimensions (Journal articles + more) against all items in 1findr (Just journal articles), Dimensions has more content overall, but 1findr still finds more open access items.
Dimensions having more content is nice, but their numbers may be a little skewed because they are indexing very differently formatted things. For example, they seem to index some encyclopedia entries individually as chapters.
Let’s look at some counts for Scopus and Web of Science here. Looking at only journal articles again:
Web of Science here includes all of their expanded databases.
Web of Science uses Unpaywall to identify Gold , Hybrid, and Green open access. This is why Web of Science finds so much more open access than Scopus does. Scopus currently only identifies Gold open access (e.g. publications in a fully open access journal), which is why it’s OA counts are so low. They do index a lot of open access content, they just don’t identify or label it like Web of Science does.
It’s a particularly big deal that Scopus only finds Gold OA because according to this recent study, it’s actually one of the smallest categories of open access:
Let’s look at all four of these search tools together now. You can see them in a Google Sheet here.
By size of journal article coverage and open access, we can rank these tools like so:
- Web of Science
It’s kinda shocking that all of these tools have different counts that differ by millions. Especially for 1findr. Look at how they rank up against Dimensions, the next largest:
|# of more articles that 1findr has||# of more OA identified|
Also another interesting tidbit here is that Web of Science and Dimensions both do their OA identifying with Unpaywall. 1science’s 1findr uses their own OA identification tool – which some libraries have been using to do some very interesting stuff. It’ll be interesting if we see a full comparison between the two in the future.
A big difference: oaDOI (nonprofit) pulls from these open sources, then makes the resulting dataset open. 1science (for-profit) makes the resulting dataset closed. To be fair, both can absolutely work. But imho former benefits world more.
— Jason Priem (@jasonpriem) January 25, 2018
(oaDOI is the old name for Unpaywall)
1science and Unpaywall appear to have very similar methods for finding open access except 1science appears to be using some sort of web scraping and using Google Scholar somehow?
Final thought: More, of course, does not mean better. The real strength of Web of Science and Scopus is the ability to do advanced searches, mass export items, and look at links between articles by citation. I know both Dimensions and 1findr are looking at advancing their capabilities in these areas. We are in interesting times for scholarly literature discovery.