Google Scholar is an online search engine by Google Inc. designed to search for scientific and educational sources, including repositories, databases, as well as journal pages in all fields and disciplines. The tool enables to search for scientific books, articles, conference materials, preprints, reports, dissertations, abstracts etc. The results are displayed using a special algorithm and take into consideration the preferences of the searching person.
A unique functionality of this search engine is the option to search for publication citations and possibility to create scientist profiles, i.e. a sort of portfolio with information about scientific interests, publications and basic bibliometric indicators (total number of citations, Hirsch index, number of citations in specific years etc.).
The author may authenticate the information included in the individual profile through verification using the university e-mail, which allows to connect them within the unit profile. In this way the ranking of authors within the institution is developed. It ranks the employees in the descending order according to the total number of citations. The ranking allows to expose the most often cited researchers in a specific university, and the information about their interests indicate the potential of disciplines practised in the unit and may facilitate the establishment of scientific contacts.
The most often cited scientists associated with the University of Silesia in Katowice according to Google Scholar (status as of 15 December 2020) include: Prof. Jan Kisiel from the Institute of Physics (15,802 citations), Prof. Marian Paluch from the Institute of Physics (14,196 citations) and Prof. Beata Walczak from the Institute of Chemistry (10,037 citations).
Among twenty scientists included in the ranking, eight scholars represent the Institute of Chemistry, six represent the Institute of Physics, and four represent the Institute of Biology, Biotechnology and Environmental Protection. The summary also includes two researchers from the Institute of Earth Sciences and Institute of Materials Engineering.