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What is citation analysis and why do it?
Citation analysis (or citation tracking) helps you determine who is citing whom. Articles, books, and other resources an author cites in a bibliography can be valuable research leads. Learning who has cited a specific article can also be useful. Determining the number of times an article has been cited also indicates if the article is widely read and perhaps well-respected in the field.
Who is Who
Sometimes it's difficult to determine which articles were written by a specific person. For example, some authors only publish with their first initial and last name (imagine how many J. Smiths are out there!), other people may have changed their name.
One of the easiest ways to deal with this is to find an article that is *definitely* by an author (perhaps an article the person is famous for or one on their favorite topic of research). Find the article's record in a database. Authors' names will usually appear as hyperlinks. Click on an author's name to find more articles by that same author.
Another important thing to know is that each author's name is not always cited the same way. Write down exactly how your author's name appears in the database links (e.g. J. Brown Smith vs. J.B. Smith vs. Joe Brown Smith vs. Joe B. Smith vs. Joe Smith).
Article Impact Sources
Web of Science This link opens in a new window
One of the most comprehensive citation research databases. Citations from thousands of journals are tracked.
ScienceDirect This link opens in a new window
Covers the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. In Advanced Search Mode, use the drop-down menu and change "All Fields" to "References" for both search boxes. In first box enter the author's last name. In the second box, enter title of the book, article, or other writing in parenthesis (to assure a phrase search). Also, when viewing an article's page, click on "Citing Articles" on the right to see the articles that have cited the publication. You can also view the number of Exports-Saves and Readers of the article.
Google Scholar This link opens in a new window
This free online index to multi-disciplinary scholarly literature captures cited references in all disciplines. Note that extraneous links may also be included, but overall GS captures many cited references.
- Google Scholar is most effective when searching for cites of a particular piece of writing, following these steps:
- Go to Advanced Search by clicking on the three bars in the upper left and then clicking on Advanced Search.
- Put the title of the book or article in the "exact phrase" search box
- Type in the authors last name in the "with at least one of the words" search box.
- On the results page underneath the article, there will be a "Cited by (number), click on it. Note that Google Scholar also retrieves citations from JSTOR.
MathSciNet This link opens in a new window
Click on the "Citations'" tab near the top of the screen.
SciFinder-N This link opens in a new window
When viewing an article in SciFinder, hover over "Get Related Citations" and then click on "Get Citing." First time users must register using your campus email at User Registration for SciFinder.
ProQuest Databases: Change search from being limited to "Anywhere" to being limited to "References, RE=" Search name you wish to locate in References in this format: "Smith, A." OR when looking at an article, click on "Cited By" on the right (if the article has been cited).
Examples of ProQuest Databases
APA PsycInfo This link opens in a new window
Major indexing and abstracting database covering psychology, social work, educational psychology, and related disciplines.
Social Services Abstracts This link opens in a new window
Citations and abstracts for journal articles, books, book chapters, dissertations, association papers and reviews focused on social work, human services, social welfare, social policy and community development.
Sociological Abstracts This link opens in a new window
Citations and abstracts for journal articles, books, book chapters, dissertations, association papers and reviews in sociology, social science and policy science.
EBSCO Complete Databases: Click on "Cited References" on the left side of the page when viewing an article's entry.
Examples of EBSCO Databases
Communication & Mass Media Complete This link opens in a new window
Indexes communication and mass-media related journals. Many of the journals are included from their first issues to the present, dating as far back as 1915.
CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health) This link opens in a new window
Index to professional literature in nursing and allied health fields including veterinary technology, medical imaging and therapies. Limited to 20 simultaneous users shared with CSU and UNC.
LGBTQ+ Source This link opens in a new window
Indexes literature regarding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, and Queer issues. Comprehensive coverage ranges from traditional academic, lifestyle, and regional periodical publications to books, bibliographies and dissertations.
Assessment of Impact with Article-Level Metrics (ALMs)
Learn about Article-Level Metrics available for articles published by PLOS.
Article Level Metrics
Article-Level Metrics (ALMs) are rapidly emerging as important tools to quantify how individual articles are being discussed, shared, and used. ALMs can be employed in conjunction with existing metrics, which have traditionally focused on the long-term impact of a collection of articles (i.e., a journal) based on the number of citations generated.
DORA: San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment
A declaration initiated by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) together with a group of editors and publishers of scholarly journals, recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scientific research are evaluated.