Citation Searching Basics
Cited references are the articles, books, and other resources listed in a bibliography, a "Works Cited" list, or in a "References" list. Cited references are useful for finding additional articles and books on a topic, for identifying the top researchers in a field, and for tenure decisions.
Databases tracking cited references make it possible to follow the instances where a reference or author has been cited. This technique may be useful to:
- Track the research of an individual
- Track the history of a research idea
- Locate current research based on earlier research
- Find out how many times and where a publication is being cited
- Find out who is referencing a particular source
- Find out how a particular research topic is being used to support other research and to analyze its impact
Essential Concepts of Citation Searches
Bibliometrics: The variety of metrics available based on cited reference data to measure scholarly output, impact, relevance and ranking. Analytics include citation count, impact factor, SNIP, h-index, e-index, and a wide variety of related measurements. See the Citation Count Evaluation tab for more information.
Citation Analysis: the process of tracing various patterns of scholarly behavior through analyzing the cited and/or citing references of a body of work. This could be done on an individual article, author, journal, institution, or other group.
Citation Count: The number of times an article, author, journal, institution, etc. has been cited. It is very difficult to locate every single time something or someone has been cited. Commonly accepted citation counts come from Scopus or Social Science Index/Science Citation Index. Each source which provides citation counts draws from a different base of resources and therefore the results may differ between Scopus, SSCI/SCI, or Google Scholar.
Citation Evaluation: Simply identifying the number of times someone or something has been cited does not account for certain citation patterns. For example, an author may have one or two articles early in his or her career that have very high citation counts, but later articles substantially less. Another author may have a relatively steady number of citations for each article throughout his or her career. The Citation Count Evaluation tab provides some examples of tools for evaluating citation patterns beyond a simple count.
Journal Ranking: There are a number of metrics that seek to measure the influence of a journal based on how it is being cited in other works. SNIP and SJR are analytics provided by Scopus that allow for comparison of journal influence. Another common resource is the Journal Impact Factor. It should be emphasized that the ranking of a journal is not necessarily a reflection of a single specific article within the journal.)