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First online:
Open Access

On the bibliometric coordinates of four different research fields in Geography

  • Juan Gorraiz 
  • , Christian Gumpenberger
  • , Thomas Glade


This study is a
bibliometric analysis of the highly complex research discipline
Geography. In order to identify the most popular and most cited
publication channels, to reveal publication strategies, and to analyse
the discipline’s coverage within publications, the three main data
sources for citation analyses, namely Web of Science, Scopus and Google
Scholar, have been utilized. This study is based on publication data
collected for four individual evaluation exercises performed at the
University of Vienna and related to four different subfields:
Geoecology, Social and Economic Geography, Demography and Population
Geography, and Economic Geography. The results show very heterogeneous
and individual publication strategies, even in the same research fields.
Monographs, journal articles and book chapters are the most cited
document types. Differences between research fields more related to the
natural sciences than to the social sciences are clearly visible, but
less considerable when taking into account the higher number of
co-authors. General publication strategies seem to be established for
both natural science and social sciences, however, with significant
differences. While in natural science mainly publications in
international peer-reviewed scientific journals matter, the focus in
social sciences is rather on book chapters, reports and monographs.
Although an “iceberg citation model” is suggested, citation analyses for
monographs, book chapters and reports should be conducted separately
and should include complementary data sources, such as Google Scholar,
in order to enhance the coverage and to improve the quality of the
visibility and impact analyses. This is particularly important for
social sciences related research within Geography.


Citation data sources
Google Scholar
Web of Science
Natural sciences
Social sciences
Citation analysis
Publication strategies