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BIO323 Research Skills Guide: Citation Count

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What is a Citation Count?

A citation count is the number of times an article is cited by other articles. In theory, the more an article has been cited by other articles, the more influential and reliable the article is likely (but not guaranteed) to be. Similar to journal impact factor, article citation counts can be searched using a database.

You might recall that the Journal Citation Reports database includes only journals that are indexed in the Web of Science database. If you were able to find a journal in Journal Citation Reports, you should be able to find citation counts for many of that journal’s articles in Web of Science.

Alternative Citation Count Databases

You might like to try searching for your articles' citation counts in the Scopus database and Google Scholar.

Limitations

Keep in mind that every evaluation method has limitations. Limitations for citation count include:

  • Citation counts may be skewed by time (ie: it is difficult to compare publications published at different times)
  • The quality of the citing articles is unable to be determined (ie: has it been cited by reputable publications)
  • Inevitable database bias due to inability to include every journal article ever published (eg: Web of Science has global content but does have bias toward North American content)
  • Bias toward particular languages (eg: Web of Science biased toward English content)
  • Citation Count unable to be determined for excluded publications (such as old publications)
  • Recently published articles may not have been cited

Citation Count Activity

Use the Web of Science database to determine if your selected articles have been cited in more recent articles.

  • Go to the Web of Science database and locate your article by conducting a search.
  • The results will show relevant details of the article including the number of times the article has been cited.
  • Click on the highlighted Times Cited number to find the citing articles.

 

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