Author Archives: Davide Del Duca

About Davide Del Duca

Teamleader for digital collections at Chemnitz University of Technology E-Mail: Phone: +49 371 531-36501 Chat/Matrix:

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.

Dialogue box between Scopus and ORCID.

From Scopus to ORCID

Scopus is a huge information database. Your publications as a researcher can be spread over several profiles. Avoid this by linking your ORCID profile to Scopus.
This will allow Scopus to link all your profiles with similar names (e.g. D. Del Duca, Del Duca Davide, David Del Duca) to a single ORCID ID to avoid duplicate entries that may affect the chances of your research being found.

Visit this link ( and click on “Start”. A dialogue box will open asking you to give Scopus access to your ORCID ID.

Dialogue box between Scopus and ORCID.

Scopus to ORCID dialogue box

You will then be forwarded to Scopus where you will be presented with a list of similar names. After selecting your profile and the publications linked to your profile, ORCID collects your publication information and saves it to your ORCID ID.
When you publish there will be no more duplicates of your name and your research will be linked only to you.

If you need help or have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

“Neues Handbuch Hochschullehre” – a new database

Neues Handbuch Hochschullehre

Chemnitz University Library has acquired the licence for the database “Neues Handbuch Hochschullehre”. The contents are particularly relevant for lecturers at Chemnitz University of Technology at all levels who want to improve their teaching.

Among other things, you will learn how to

  • supervise students in an activating and motivating way,
  • plan and organise events in a way that is suitable for students,
  • use digital media sensibly,
  • promote key competencies and academic work,
  • accompany and check competence-oriented learning processes despite tight curricula,
  • evaluate events and departments.

Access to the website is now possible through the university’s IPs here:

Why your research career needs a Persistent Identifier

A Persistent Identifier is a kind of number plate that we wear in the web. After all, we use PIDs on a daily basis in our analogue world, such as when we are asked for our identity card number. Only here we are on the web. Fortunately behind a Persistent ID there is an organization that ensures its persistence over time. At this point someone might reply that the address of a website is a persistent ID. Wrong, because behind it there is not always an association to ensure its long-term durability.

A PID is “a code which remains constant as a means of identifying a digital object regardless of changes to its location on the internet”.


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