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Citation Tracking & Bibliometrics

This guide helps people learn about the citation searching process and the citation indexes available to the world of scholarly publishing.

Citation Searches

People perform citation searches for a variety of reasons. Professors applying for tenure or promotion may want to know how many times their scholarly publications have been cited. Researchers and students may wish to know what kind of impact a particular publication has had in its field. 

"Being cited" means that your scholarly publication has been cited by another author; the author refers to your publication within his or her publication and includes the bibliographic citation in the works cited list/bibliography.

A citation search retrieves information about the publications that have cited a specific publication or an author.

Things to Consider

How we use citation search results and bibliometrics can have significant and serious impact on our professional lives. Be sure to consider the many aspects of the use of this data before moving forward.

When you're performing a citation search, it's best to use several databases to try to ensure you're capturing as much information as possible. Don't settle for the results in just one database. At this time, it's recommended that you use the following three databases:

Each vendor that offers bibliometric measures primarily uses its own unique data, journals, authority files, indexes, and subject categories. Potentially, any database with citations could create bibliometric measures. 

How To Do A Citation Search

At this time, it is suggested that a thorough citation search should include the use of the Scopus and Web of Science databases, in addition to Google Scholar, as each database provides varying, and also overlapping, coverage. Furthermore, the combination of searching the three databases does not necessarily guarantee that you've obtained every citation in existence for a particular paper.

Students wishing to perform citation searches of a particular author are encouraged to use either Scopus or Web of Science.

Questions? Want to meet to discuss citation searching further? Get in touch with one of the Research Servies Librarians:

Citation Searching Tool

Publish or Perish by Anne-Wil Harzing (Melbourne University) is a PC application that collects citation data from Google Scholar and then analyzes it by various means of scholar impact (including the h-index, g-index, and others).

Note: as Google Scholar citations are based on the search engine's spiders and not human input, they are subject to errors such as counting duplicate entries and other problems that skew the results. While PoP is a useful tool, its data should not be taken as infallible.

Citation Tracking: Databases with citation alerts

Citation tracking lets you follow a particular author or paper and how it's being cited at present. You can choose to set up a personal account with the following databases so that you're alerted when a specific publication or author is cited:

Search Google Scholar

Every academic author should set up their "My Citations" account in Google Scholar, found in the menu bar in Google Scholar when the user is signed into Google, to create a definitive collection of documents found within Scholar when the author's name or article keywords appear in a results list. Authors can manually enter bibliographic information for documents or find them within Scholar and link them back to the My Citations account.

Also in Google Scholar, you can set your Scholar Preferences (click on the "Options" gear icon in the upper-right corner) to specify that you're a member of the Stevens community.  This will allow you to search for articles in Google Scholar and link to the Stevens library's subscription databases to obtain the full text of documents.