I have always been impressed with Google Scholar Citations. When I first set up my profile I was impressed with how fast the site allowed me to set up my profile (available at https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=OQEPQAAAAJ) and the overall accuracy that was evident in terms of recognizing the articles I had authored or co-authored. There was very little noise in terms of associating articles for “Antony Williams, Anthony Williams or A.J. WIlliams” (or some other combination) with my profile that were not actually my articles. As I recall maybe 3 articles overall out of about 120 at the time. I did have to add a couple of publications that were missed but these were old, from the late 1980s.
Over the years I have been kept informed of publications that have been of relevance to my work and definitely of interest. I have also been made aware of citations to my work via email. Overall, it’s a great service.
However, of late I have become increasingly concerned regarding data quality. I have started to notice suggested co-authors showing up on my profile and emails regarding citing articles that puzzle me.
For example, today on my profile I notice the following list of suggested co-authors. Four of these are blocked in red and I have no recollection of authoring with. It is possible that these people are editors of a book that I have a chapter in but not that I recall.
I have rarely had to remove many associations with my profile that were incorrect but something is afoot methinks. I ended up deleting a grand total of over SEVENTY mis-associations. Some examples are below. To clarify, I know how to sleep but don’t study sleep disorders and breathing.
I eat cream cheese but know nothing about cheese manufacture
and I don’t know much about energy demands in Western Europe.
These articles have shown up on my profile only of late (as far as I know) and it seems that Google is casting a wider net to map more works to my profile but the dramatic DECREASE in data quality is very concerning. Whatever the decision was to do this I think it has backfired. How badly?? See below where publications are associated with my profile…that I somehow authored before I was born! I was born in 1964 so how did the 1953 article get associated with me?
The BOOK by Anna Williams from 1766 from can be purchased on eBay for less than $1000 if you want it. However, it wasn’t written by Antony Williams and should NOT be associated with my profile.
Hopefully someone associated with Google Scholar Citations sees this as input to revisit any recent changes in algorithms for associating publications with profiles.
By the way, I did take a hit, appropriately so, on my h-index when I deleted the 70 mis-associations with my name. They weren’t mine for sure!