Can we trust Google Scholar as a source for scholarly metrics?

A Romanian scholar published bogus articles in questionable journals just to be able to self-cite and raise his Google Scholar rating, according to Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado at Denver.  Beall alleges on his predatory publisher watchdog blog, Scholarly Open Access that Ştefan Vlăduţescu, associate professor of communication and journalism at the University of Craiova in Romania, has been cited 1,709 times on Google Scholar but that many of the citations are questionable. Most appear in dozens of articles published in three open-access journals with Swiss street addresses but Polish URLs.

Beall says each article cites the scholar’s work 10-12 times, and that Vlăduţescu “buries the self-citations in long bibliographies at the ends of the articles, references that don't completely match the in-text citations in the papers."  Beall said via email: “This means that Google Scholar cannot be trusted as a source for scholarly metrics. Using predatory publishers, researchers can easily, dishonestly, and quickly increase the metrics that Google Scholars records for them.”

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