OpenAlex: a free alternative to Scopus and Web of Science?

Scientific research tools such as Scopus, Web of Science or Dimensions have now become established. Many researchers have stored complex search queries in their favourite database. However, the cost of these platforms is a significant item in the budgets of libraries and research institutions.

What if there was a bold, free alternative to these expensive tools? Actually, there is, and there has been for some time, but only recently has it started to gain traction: OpenAlex.

OpenAlex can be defined as “a fully open catalogue of the global research system”. It has been maintained by OurResearch since around mid-2021 and the data comes from the Microsoft Academic Graph, Crossref, institutional repositories (via OAI-PMH) and much more. OpenAlex has access to a large amount of data and is based on persistent IDs (DOIs, ORCID, ROR, etc.).

Don’t be fooled by the minimalist interface and the absence of corporate design colours. OpenAlex concentrates on the essentials and does its job very well. Until a few months ago, queries could only be made via the API. Now it has a graphical user interface that is constantly being updated and improved. I have an account where I can save my queries. I find it simple and useful, but perhaps it is still too little for a researcher. However, development continues.

I then ran some tests and entered the name of TU Chemnitz to see the results:

Here the results from Scopus:

Very good. We have about 6,000 more results than Scopus. However, this does not mean that all the works displayed are actually related to Chemnitz University of Technology. Quality control still needs to be improved in OpenAlex. However, I was also impressed by the presence of some graphics.

If you are a researcher, I invite you to enter your name in OpenAlex and check that all the data is correct. It is also possible to calculate your own H-index with this script in Jupyter Notebook (if you need help, write to me).

I also tested this script, which uses the data from OpenAlex to show which co-operations TU Chemnitz has with other universities worldwide. Here is the result:

This is only a first approach to OpenAlex, and it is necessary to deepen the knowledge of the data structure and quality control. There is a lot of potential in it and its possibilities are currently limited, but it is an interesting project and it is worth giving it a chance.

New E-Media 2024

Photo: Katrin Pötschke / University Library Chemnitz

Whether in the library, on campus or from home the e-offers (e-books, e-journals, databases) of the university library are always available for you. We have revised our digital offerings for the year 2024 as well. We would like to inform you here about innovations and changes in this area.

We have compiled all information on the expansion of the e-book range as well as innovations and changes in licensing for you in a structured overview.

Below we would like to inform you about some of them in more detail.

DEAL Elsevier
Since 2024, Chemnitz University of Technology has been participating in the DEAL agreement with Elsevier. This provides reading access to almost the entire Elsevier journal portfolio, including the Cell Press and The Lancet titles. Furthermore, the costs for open access publications in Elsevier journals are covered by the University Library. Further information on the agreement can also be found on the University Library website.

LGBTQ+ Source
Relevant for several disciplines is the EBSCO database "LGBTQ+ Source", which has been licensed since January 2024. As the authoritative database for LGBTQ+ studies, it offers academic and popular LGBTQ+ publications in full text as well as historically important primary sources. The database also contains a special LGBTQ+ thesaurus with thousands of topic-related terms that can be used for further literature research.

Thanks to a co-operation with the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, all TUC members have access to the AIS e-Library again this year. The AIS-e-Library is an comprehensive portal containing full texts from journals and proceedings of the Association for Information Systems (AIS). Further information on access can be found in a blog post.

CAS SciFinder-n Discovery Platform Academic
Since 2024, access to the CAS SciFinder Discovery Platform has been possible. In addition to SciFinder-n, this also contains the tools CAS Formulus and CAS Analytical Methods, which enable the search for formulations and analytical methods. Access is provided via the existing SciFinder-n interface.

We wish you a lot of pleasure in learning, researching and browsing through our new e-offers.

Do you know B!SON? – new tools make Open Science easy

In our case B!SON doesn’t stand for a wild animal, but for a recommendation service for
quality-assured Open Access Journals.

american bison

American Bison, Marco Verch, Creative Commons 2.0

Due to the enormous increase in the number of new publishing offerings, it is difficult for authors to make the most suitable selection. B!SON was developed by TIB Hannover and SLUB Dresden. The tool is open, free of charge and web-based.

Den Beitrag weiterlesen Do you know B!SON? – new tools make Open Science easy

Existing service – newly discovered: Internal university document delivery

The document delivery service is been for many years a service of the library to all members of the TUC. The old name „Inhouse delivery service“ has changed to „Internal university document delivery service“

Den Beitrag weiterlesen Existing service – newly discovered: Internal university document delivery

A new one is here! Access to the AIS-e-Library database

AIS e-Library start page

Screenshot of the AIS e-Library start page. Marked are the simple search and the possibility of searching by browsing.

Since the beginning of the year, all TUC members have had access to a new business information systems database. Thanks to a cooperation with the Faculty of Economics and Business Adminnistration, the University Library was able to make all contents of the AIS-e-Library accessible.

Den Beitrag weiterlesen A new one is here! Access to the AIS-e-Library database

New: Access to DIN-VDE standards campus-wide possible

The DIN VDE standards are regulations for various areas of electrical engineering. These include, for example, power systems, power conductors and insulating materials, measuring, controlling & testing, as well as machines, converters, installation material, switchgear, consumer appliances, work equipment and information technology.

Until now, the standards of the VDE (Verband der Elektrotechnik | Elektronik | Informationstechnik e. V.) could only be offered on one computer in the library as a single-user licence. This has now changed.

Den Beitrag weiterlesen New: Access to DIN-VDE standards campus-wide possible