Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1007/s40037-019-0515-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
It is often necessary to demonstrate the impact of a research program over time both within and beyond institutions. However, it is difficult to accurately track the publications of research groups over time without significant effort. A simple, scalable, and economical way to track publications from research groups and their metrics would address this challenge.
Google Scholar automatically tracks the scholarly output and citation counts of individual researchers. We created Google Scholar profiles to track the scholarly productivity of five research groups: an institutional educational research program, a division of emergency medicine, a department of emergency medicine, a national educational scholarship working group, and an international organization dedicated to online education. We added the publications of each group member to their respective group Google Scholar profile and a junior faculty member monitored the citations that were suggested.
Google Scholar tracked a diverse collection of five research groups over 6–36 months. In addition to having different organizational structures and purposes, the groups varied in size, consisting of 8–60 researchers, and prolificacy, with group citation counts between 1006–58,380 and group h‑indexes ranging from 19–101.
We anticipate that as this innovation becomes better known it will increasingly be adopted by traditional and non-traditional research groups to easily track their productivity and impact. Additional initiatives will be needed to standardize reporting guidelines within and between institutions.