About the size of Google Scholar: playing the numbers [article]

Enrique Orduña-Malea, Juan Manuel Ayllón, Alberto Martín-Martín, Emilio Delgado López-Cózar
2014 arXiv   pre-print
The emergence of academic search engines (Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search essentially) has revived and increased the interest in the size of the academic web, since their aspiration is to index the entirety of current academic knowledge. The search engine functionality and human search patterns lead us to believe, sometimes, that what you see in the search engine's results page is all that really exists. And, even when this is not true, we wonder which information is missing and
more » ... . The main objective of this working paper is to calculate the size of Google Scholar at present (May 2014). To do this, we present, apply and discuss up to 4 empirical methods: Khabsa & Giles's method, an estimate based on empirical data, and estimates based on direct queries and absurd queries. The results, despite providing disparate values, place the estimated size of Google Scholar in about 160 million documents. However, the fact that all methods show great inconsistencies, limitations and uncertainties, makes us wonder why Google does not simply provide this information to the scientific community if the company really knows this figure.
arXiv:1407.6239v2 fatcat:umi64ugex5dpldqq4akzdjbn7e