Field of Science

Reissues by Wiley are reducing the usefulness of Google Scholar

Has anyone else noticed that Google Scholar searches for recent articles are bringing up a lot of old articles that appear to have been reissued online by Wiley?

The screenshot above is of the first two hits from a search for papers published since 2008. Both hits appear to be to papers published in 2008. The screenshot below shows what you get when you click on the second hit.  It's a paper that was published in 1977, but that has somehow been 'republished' online in 2008.  The link to the journal issue ("Volume 74 Issue 2") takes me to the correct 1977 issue, but the "Published online: 28 June 2008" is very misleading. The first hit has the same problem; it's to a paper that was originally published in 1985.

This isn't an isolated problem. Lately I've been seeing it a lot.  I can't find any way to restrict my searches to genuinely recent articles, nor to exclude papers with the tag.  All I can do is avoid clicking on hits with that tag.

I looked at the Wiley-Interscience web site.  They're bragging about a pilot project with Google and CrossRef to reissue old articles online; maybe this is the problem.

Next day:  Quick and helpful response from Google Scholar:
Hello Rosie,

Unfortunately, yes, it looks like Wiley's abstracts occasionally have online dates instead of publication dates. 

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.  We'll contact Wiley but it will take some time for this to get resolved.  In the meantime, a workaround when searching for recent articles is to add to your query, like so: amp;as_sdt=2000&as_ylo=2008&as_vis=0


The Google Scholar Team


  1. I've noticed that problem with citing J Euk Microbiol/J Protozool (formerly) articles, esp when the images are in reasonably good quality. You start citing it as Blah 2008 JEM, only to realise afterwards that it was really Blah 1967 J Protozool. Really annoying. On the top thing, it shows the date published ONLINE, so one must be really careful, and only rely on what the PDF itself shows...

    Not a problem when searching for protistology papers though, as including older lit usually increases your search twofold, that is, up to two pages rather than one ;-)

  2. Is this a way to artificially drive up demand for old articles that are behind a pay portal?

    If it's accidental they should fix it. If it's deliberate, shame on them.

  3. Rob, I don't think they're behind a pay portal, but I can't be sure because UBC has access to these journals anyway.

  4. I think it's just some glitch where the date published online is treated the same as the date published overall. Maybe some error where it's entered into the wrong field on some metadata somewhere. Doubt they'd get much benefit from doing it deliberately...


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