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Citation Analysis: Home

Explains how to use Web of Science and Scopus to conduct citation analysis.

Commonly Used Terms

Cited Reference
Articles that the original article cites

Citing Reference
Articles that cite the original article

Impact Factor
The journal Impact Factor is the average number of times articles published in a journal in the past two years have been cited

Measures the productivity and citation impact of the published work of a researcher, scientist or scholar
h-index (or Hirsch index) = N
where N = no. of papers with N or more citations

Self-citations refer to cited references that contain an author name that matches the name of the author of a citing article

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Latest News from Retraction Watch, a blog and database of retractions of scientific papers.

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Citation Analysis

The starting point of all citation analysis studies is to count the number of times an article or author is cited in the scientific literature. On the general assumption that the number of citations reflects an article's influence, and therefore quality.

Wade, N. (1975). Citation Analysis: A New Tool for Science Administrators.
Science, 188(4187), 429-432: 429 

Citation analysis essentially involves counting the number of times a scientific paper or scientist is cited, and it works on the assumption that influential scientists and important works will be cited more frequently than others. 

Meho, L. I. (2007). The rise and rise of citation analysis.
Physics World, 20(1), 32-36: 32

It is important to note that as with numbers and statistics, it is often easy to manipulate citation count to show greater impact. Some ways where citations can be artificially inflated include negative citations (pointing out fraudulent research or incorrect results), cronyism (friends/colleagues citing each other), ceremonial citation, self-citation (citing one's own works) and being part of a citation cartel or "citation stacking", where groups of editors and journals work together to increase their impact factor.


Databases with citation information



Dedicated to citation info
Oldest and most established
Covers > 12,000 journals
Largest abstract and citation database
Covers > 22,000 journals







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News Feed

Opinion, commentary and ideas related to Metrics & Analytics from The Scholarly Kitchen blog by the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP).

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