I’m a big fan of Google Scholar (and Google Scholar Citations). I use them both regularly to identify academic literature on a wide range of topics, and to trace, at least in outline, the responses to specific papers. I was fiddling about with it the other day, and wondered whether I could use it to try to develop a measure, even if a rough one, of the extent to which reference to common currencies occurs in a person’s published research.
My first attempt is the following:
- An author’s Common Currency Score (CCS) is the number of results on Google Scholar for the author’s name (in quotation marks), plus “common currency” (also in quotation marks).
- An author’s Common Currency Ratio (CCR) is their CCS divided by the number of results for their name alone.
This is rougher than a warthog’s shins, and will be hugely unsatisfactory in cases of names corresponding to multiple authors. (It’s pretty bad for authors whose names are indexed in more than one way - for example “PW Glimcher” returns about 3 times as many correct results as “PW Glimcher”. But searching for “DJ McFarland” picks up irrelevant McFarlands including false positives.)
Rough and ready though this is, it isn’t devoid of interest. George Ainslie has the highest CCS and CCR of anyone I thought to search for. I might update this in the future - as I apply it to other authors, or refine it in some way or other.
George Ainslie (22 June):
Common Currency Score (CCS) = 117
“George Ainslie” = 1680
George Ainslie CCR: 0.07
John McNamara (23 June)
Common Currency Score (CCS) = 151
“JM McNamara” = 3560
John McNamara CCR = 0.04
Paul Glimcher (22 June)
Common Currency Score (CCS) = 92
“PW Glimcher” = 1510
David McFarland (22 June)
Common Currency Score (CCS) = 61 (for “DJ McFarland”)
“David McFarland” = 1130
David McFarland CCR = 0.05
David Spurrett (22 June)
Common Currency Score (CCS) = 25
“David Spurrett” = 455
David Spurrett CCR = 0.05
Peter Shizgal (23 June)
Common Currency Score (CCS) = 36
“P Shizgal” = 1070
Peter Shizgal CCR = 0.03
Michel Cabanac (23 June)
Common Currency Score (CCS) = 109
“M Cabanac” = 2320
Michel Cabanac CCR = 0.04