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Citation Tracking & Bibliometrics

The citation searching process and the citation indexes available in the world of scholarly publishing.

Citation Searches

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

To be cited means that your scholarly publication has been cited by another author who refers to your publication within their publication and includes the bibliographic citation in the list of works cited.

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

Image source: Iconathon (Noun Project)

How To Do A Citation Search

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. The citation indexes Scopus and Web of Science will be most accurate, and Google Scholar* can also provide some useful information.

At this time, it is suggested that a thorough citation search should include the use of the Scopus and Web of Science citation index databases with Google Scholar acting in support, 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 Scopus and Web of Science.

*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.



Don't forget to remove self-citations from your citation counts for greater accuracy, which Scopus and Web of Science can do but Google Scholar can't.




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.

However, please note that the citation counts found within Google Scholar can't eliminate self-citations, may contain duplicates, and can't be refined to limit just to scholarly articles. Therefore, consider Google Scholar to serve in a supporting role when collecting citations, rather than fully relying on the data it provides.

Link Google to the Library

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 Library's subscription databases to obtain the full text of documents. 

The Google Scholar @ Stevens guide provides more information on linking to Library resources as well as a search box for Google Scholar with those settings already in place:

If you have questions or want to meet to discuss citation searching further, get in touch with one of your Research Services Librarians:

Create an ORCID

A handy way to ensure your publications are all attributed to you is to register for a unique identifier which can then be linked to other professional accounts and used on future work and research to ensure a common connection between the author and the work.

ORCID is a standalone open registry, and you'll also find that you're assigned identifiers if your works are indexed in Scopus (Scopus Author ID) and Web of Science (ResearcherID).


ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID)

  • Persistent 16-character unique identifier for researchers and reviewers to connect to works, grants, patents, etc.
  • Nonprofit organization
  • Founded 2010
  • Free registration
  • Works in conjunction with ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier; ISO 27729)

Content-Based Citation Analysis Tools

Artificial Intelligence in Citation Analysis

Scite and Semantic Scholar are two tools that utilize artificial intelligence to show how citations are used in context: not just that they're cited in a paper, but how and why they're used in that paper, such as whether the use is positive, negative, or neutral, or how much of the citation is referred to.

However, keep in mind that not all articles will be available in full-text to be analyzed in the AI tools, as the content both tools analyze is so far based on citations available outside of copyright restrictions.

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