Social sciences and humanities (SSH)


Archambault et al. (2006) examined the impact of linguistic coverage of databases used by bibliometricians on the capacity to effectively benchmark the work of researchers in social sciences and humanities. The strong link between bibliometrics and the Thomson Scientific's databases were regarded and the differences in the production and diffusion of knowledge in the social sciences and humanities (SSH) and the natural sciences and engineering (NSE)were examined.  This leads to a re-examination of the debate on the coverage of these databases, more specifically in the SSH. The methods section explains how the coverage of Thomson Scientific databases in the NSE and SSH to the Ulrich extensive database of journals was compared. The results show that there is a 20 to 25% overrepresentation of English-language journals in Thomson Scientific's databases compared to the list of journals presented in Ulrich. This paper concludes that because of this bias, Thomson Scientific databases cannot be used in isolation to benchmark the output of  countries in the SSH.










Andersen, Heine (2007). Dirkurs. Filosofkonger styrer sociaforskningen. Politiken, lørdag den 17. marts 2007, opinion, side 4. Heine Andersen_fig_2007.pdf



Archambault, E.; Vignola-Gagne, E.; Cote, G.; Lariviere, V. & Gingras, Y. (2006).  Benchmarking scientific output in the social sciences and  humanities: The limits of existing databases. Scientometrics, 68(3), 329-342. 





Birger Hjørland

Last edited: 25-03-2007