Citation indexes also track how often papers are cited, and it is through this citation analysis that you can get a sense of what people have written and what, based on the citations, are considered either foundational papers in the field or are new enough to be necessary to a review of the current trends.
This citation data can be used to analyze scholarly research in many ways, including by topic, author, affiliation, publication, time period, and other factors. When looking for articles for a literature review, using Scopus is the best way to make sure you're reading the articles you should be.
Scopus includes a few very useful ways to analyze articles in groups, either as a collection of search results or as the articles that all cite a particular article. Here is an image of the "Documents by year" graph for articles in a search, showing the how many articles per year were published on that topic.
The Scopus algorithm uses the article metadata for publications in a journal indexed by Scopus to create Scopus Author Profiles when two or more articles are linked to one author name. Authors with similar names are assigned different Scopus Author Identifiers, but it is the responsibility of the individual author to ensure that citations are accurately assigned to the right identifier.
A common way to judge the effect of a journal on a field of research is through using citation data, tracking the number of times articles are cited, to aid in the decision-making process for those who might need this data: researchers looking to publish, librarians looking to subscribe, or promotion & tenure committees looking to judge the work done by researchers. But it's important to remember that the value of a journal to the field might be seen in measures other than citation data, so while it's a good data point to keep in mind when making your own decision, it should not be the only one you consider.
Scopus' journal-level metrics include the following:
PlumX altmetrics (tracking article activity online)
h-index and h-graph: "A researcher's performance based on career publications, as measured by the lifetime number of citations that each published article receives; h-indices indicate a balance between productivity (scholarly output) and citation impact (citation count)."
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