Nature or Science: what Google Trends says

Abstract

Nature and Science are two major multidisciplinary journals, well-known among the general public and highly-cited by scholarly communities. This article presents Google Trends, a web service providing detailed information on the Google search behavior of Internet users from all countries during the period 2004–2019 and illustrates the preference between Nature and Science. The research shows a general decrease of the demand for both journals and reveals a substantial growth in demand for Nature in some geographic regions and a decline of the interest to Science in many regions. We also found a better affinity to Nature by the general audience and a better affinity to Science in former USSR scholarly allies. This situation is explained on one hand by the editorial policy of the two journals and on the other hand by the influence of the cold war and its aftermath on worldwide scientific societies and the ongoing interest in research areas in different geographic regions.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    ASEAN: Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Its members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

  2. 2.

    BRICS: Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa.

  3. 3.

    CIVETS: Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa.

  4. 4.

    D-8: D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation (Developing-8). Its members are Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.

  5. 5.

    The rate of Google search queries related to the two journals have mainly decreased from quite important to averagefrom 2004 to present in Iran, Russian Federation, India and Pakistan.

  6. 6.

    Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Dr. Ronald Rousseau (KU Leuven, Belgium) for providing useful comments and discussions related to this research work.

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Correspondence to Houcemeddine Turki.

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Turki, H., Hadj Taieb, M., Ben Aouicha, M. et al. Nature or Science: what Google Trends says. Scientometrics (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-020-03511-8

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Keywords

  • Google trends
  • Nature journal
  • Science journal