JournalBase - A Comparative International Study of Scientific Journal Databases in the Social Sciences and the Humanities (SSH)
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AbstractPresented for the first time, a comparative table of the contents of the databases that list the journals in the Social Sciences and the Humanities (SSH) named JournalBase has been published, in June 2009, in Cybergeo. The study covers the AHCI and the SSCI of the Web of Science (published by Thomson Reuters) and Scopus (published by Elsevier), as well as the European Reference Index for Humanities (ERIH) (published by the European Science Foundation) and the lists of the French Agence pour l’Evaluation de la Recherche et de l’Enseignement Supérieur (AERES). The research was carried out in 2008 with the financial support of the TGE Adonis of the CNRS. With some 20,000 entries, corresponding to 10,000 different journals, this is an almost exhaustive overview of the wealth of publications in the Social Sciences and the Humanities, at last made available in this table, adopting the same nomenclature for classifying the journals according to their disciplines as the one used in 27 headlines of the European Science Foundation. The multiple assignments reveal the multidisciplinarity of the journals, which is quite frequent in SSH, but also sometimes the inconsistency of databases that have not been corrected.The article presents the history of the project, the methodology established by the authors, the difficulties encountered in comparing the data. The first results reveal a broader coverage of the ERIH list for the human sciences and an over-representation of the Anglophone journals in the commercial databases throughout the disciplines. The objective of this work is to provide information about the contents of these databases, at a time when bibliometric tools are raising much discussion about their application in the field of the Social Sciences and the Humanities (SSH).