With a Google account, it is possible to quickly and easily set up Google Citations to track and generate citation metrics. Google Scholar can be particularly helpful when it comes to finding citation metrics for books. However, relying on Google Scholar data can result in some issues that should be kept in mind:
- Google metadata and citation information can be problematic: incomplete, lacking in authority controls, and easy to manipulate (see Further Reading below)
- Google indexes a wider range of publications than most subscription databases which may include citations from things like conference proceedings (good) or unscholarly sources like course syllabi (bad)
- It only indexes what is available online
- Difficult to disambiguate similar/identical author names
In short, it is recommended that Google Citations be used as a complement to other citation counting methods rather than as a substitute for them.
Lopez-Cozar, E., Robinson-Garcia, N. and Torres-Salinas, D. (2013). Manipulating Google Scholar Citations and Google Scholar Metrics: Simple, easy and tempting. Retrieved from: http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.0638