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Citation Hunting

Whether you are a graduate student trying to find the most “authoritative” authors in your field, or a tenure-track professor looking for advancement, citation indexes are very useful tools. Most of us have used one of the ISI citation indexes at one time or another. (Some of us still have the poor eyesight that developed from using them in print.) The Web of Science has replaced the print indexes and is easily used by members of our campus. WOS includes the Science Citation Index (1970-present), the Social Science Citation Index (1970-present), and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index (1975-present). In addition, since we know the Web of Science doesn’t cover everything, we also subscribe to SCOPUS, a product of Elsevier Publishing. SCOPUS covers the subject areas of life sciences, health sciences (including all of Medline), physical sciences, and social sciences with some citations dating back to 1823. In both of these cases, the data is derived from a set number of journal titles. If you are not a member of the Illinois campus community, check with your library to see if you subscribe to these.

In addition to these subscription resources, many scholars are turning to Google Scholar as a resource in citation searching. The search tool for these resources that has most recently come to my attention is called “Publish or Perish.” This is a program that can be downloaded to your computer and set up to search Google Scholar. The results presented include total number of titles, total number of citations, average number of citations per paper, average number of citations per author, average number of papers per author, average number of citations per year, Hirsch's h-index and related parameters, Egghe's g-index , and more. “Publish or Perish” does not include impact factors.

If you are looking for information on the overall impact of a journal title try http://www.eigenfactor.org/. This will not do individual articles or authors, but will provide a measure of the overall value of all the articles published in a journal title for a specific year and will also indicate a measure of a title’s prestige based on citations that is somewhat comparable to ISI’s impact factor.

If you need any assistance using these tools, don’t hesitate to contact me by going to our home page.

Please let us know if you are aware of any other tools for citation searching – and happy hunting!


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 13, 2009 2:57 PM.

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