Citation Analysis

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.

Citation analysis may be conducted for the 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.

The citation data will relate only to articles indexed within the database. Using citation information from multiple databases and comparing the results can offer a better perspective of impact within a field. The three best-known citation analysis databases are Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar.

Web of Science by Clarivate Analytics
Subject Focused: Science, Technology, Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities
A citation database of select high profile journals and other scientific publications.

Scopus by Elsevier
Subject Focused: Science, Technology, Medical, Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities
A citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings.

Google Scholar by Google
Subject Focused: Medical, Scientific, Technical, Business, Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities
Consists of scholarly articles including journal papers, conference papers, technical reports, theses, pre-prints, post-prints and other publications on the Web.