Increasing Noise in my Google Scholar Citations Profile

08 Nov

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 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.

Misassociated co-authors

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!



About tony

Antony (Tony) J. Williams received his BSc in 1985 from the University of Liverpool (UK) and PhD in 1988 from the University of London (UK). His PhD research interests were in studying the effects of high pressure on molecular motions within lubricant related systems using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. He moved to Ottawa, Canada to work for the National Research Council performing fundamental research on the electron paramagnetic resonance of radicals trapped in single crystals. Following his postdoctoral position he became the NMR Facility Manager for Ottawa University. Tony joined the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York as their NMR Technology Leader. He led the laboratory to develop quality control across multiple spectroscopy labs and helped establish walk-up laboratories providing NMR, LC-MS and other forms of spectroscopy to hundreds of chemists across multiple sites. This included the delivery of spectroscopic data to the desktop, automated processing and his initial interests in computer-assisted structure elucidation (CASE) systems. He also worked with a team to develop the worlds’ first web-based LIMS system, WIMS, capable of allowing chemical structure searching and spectral display. With his developing cheminformatic skills and passion for data management he left corporate America to join a small start-up company working out of Toronto, Canada. He joined ACD/Labs as their NMR Product Manager and various roles, including Chief Science Officer, during his 10 years with the company. His responsibilities included managing over 50 products at one time prior to developing a product management team, managing sales, marketing, technical support and technical services. ACD/Labs was one of Canada’s Fast 50 Tech Companies, and Forbes Fast 500 companies in 2001. His primary passions during his tenure with ACD/Labs was the continued adoption of web-based technologies and developing automated structure verification and elucidation platforms. While at ACD/Labs he suggested the possibility of developing a public resource for chemists attempting to integrate internet available chemical data. He finally pursued this vision with some close friends as a hobby project in the evenings and the result was the ChemSpider database ( Even while running out of a basement on hand built servers the website developed a large community following that eventually culminated in the acquisition of the website by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) based in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Tony joined the organization, together with some of the other ChemSpider team, and became their Vice President of Strategic Development. At RSC he continued to develop cheminformatics tools, specifically ChemSpider, and was the technical lead for the chemistry aspects of the Open PHACTS project (, a project focused on the delivery of open data, open source and open systems to support the pharmaceutical sciences. He was also the technical lead for the UK National Chemical Database Service ( and the RSC lead for the PharmaSea project ( attempting to identify novel natural products from the ocean. He left RSC in 2015 to become a Computational Chemist in the National Center of Computational Toxicology at the Environmental Protection Agency where he is bringing his skills to bear working with a team on the delivery of a new software architecture for the management and delivery of data, algorithms and visualization tools. The “Chemistry Dashboard” was released on April 1st, no fooling, at, and provides access to over 700,000 chemicals, experimental and predicted properties and a developing link network to support the environmental sciences. Tony remains passionate about computer-assisted structure elucidation and verification approaches and continues to publish in this area. He is also passionate about teaching scientists to benefit from the developing array of social networking tools for scientists and is known as the ChemConnector on the networks. Over the years he has had adjunct roles at a number of institutions and presently enjoys working with scientists at both UNC Chapel Hill and NC State University. He is widely published with over 200 papers and book chapters and was the recipient of the Jim Gray Award for eScience in 2012. In 2016 he was awarded the North Carolina ACS Distinguished Speaker Award.
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Posted by on November 8, 2016 in Uncategorized


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