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Citation Analysis: Citation Analysis
This guide covers resources for conducting citation analysis, finding impact factors and journal rankings. Useful for promotion and tenure.
Citation analysis is a way of measuring the relative importance or impact of an author, an article or a publication by counting the number of times that author, article, or publication has been cited by other works.
Why conduct citation analysis?
Citation analysis may be conducted for following purposes:
To establish the impact that a particular work has had by identifying which other authors based their work upon it or cited it within their own papers.
To learn more about a field or a topic by identifying seminal works in that area.
To determine what impact a particular author has had within his/her own discipline and beyond by looking at his/her total number of citations broken down by discipline and by country.
For promotion and tenure purposes by looking at the quality of sources where a scholar’s work has been published and cited
Sources for Citation Analysis: There are several tools available for citation analysis, some are subscription-based and others are free. Each tool has its strengths and weaknesses and none of them covers the entire universe of scholarly publications. Therefore, it is important to use more than one tool to get a fuller picture of the scholarly impact of an author or a journal. Below is a table highlighting the characteristics of two citation analysis tools:
Science, Technology, Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities
Medical, Scientific, Technical, Business, Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities
Composed of 3 citation indexes:
Science Citation Index Expanded
Social Sciences Citation Index
Arts & Humanities Citation Index
Note: USD's subscription starts from 1992-present
Selections from PubMed, IEEE, American Institute of Physics, proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature.com, American Medical Association and other medicine journals, Ingenta, SpringerLink,Wiley Interscience, Cambridge journals, Taylor and Francis, Sage Publications, Blackwell-Synergy, OCLC First Search and others
Open access journals and pre-prints
Online dissertations and theses
Over 10,000 journals
Some journal files going back to 1900
Theoretically, whatever is available on the Web
Monthly on average
Deeper back-files especially for Science Journals
While controversial, its journal citation reports, impact factors, and h-index are most widely used.
Provides a more comprehensive picture of scholarly impact as it indexes non-traditional sources not covered by WOS and Scopus.
Includes peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts, and articles from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities, and other scholarly organizations
Better coverage of newer materials than both WOS and Scopus
International and multi-lingual coverage
Can lead to low citation counts due to errors in citations provided by authors, and different citation styles used by journals leading to poor indexing
Back-files are expensive
Limited search features
Inflated citation counts due to inclusion of non-scholarly sources such as promotional pages, table of contents pages, course readings lists etc.
Weeding irrelevant hits is time consuming
Difficult to export citations
No way to determine what sources, and time spans are covered.