Web of ScienceScopusGoogle ScholarAdditional DatabasesH-Index
Journal Impact FactorEigenfactor & SCImagoOther Indicators of Quality
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Citation Searching and Bibliometrics at Dibner Library  

This guide contains information about citation analysis, including impact factors, journal rankings, and the debate about research impact.
Last Updated: Jul 31, 2014 URL: http://guides.nyu.edu/citationsearch Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Introduction to Citation Analysis and Bibliometrics

What is it?

Bibliometrics is the application of mathematical methods to study or measure publications for comparison or comprehension. Citation analysis (or citation searching) is a common bibliometric method to study the impact of an article, an author or an institution based on the number of times works and/or authors have been cited by others.

Citation tracking can also involve looking at the connections between different authors and journals and at patterns in citation and publication over time. Different databases offer the opportunity to sort by number of citations, to investigate patterns, create graphs and maps to provide a visual depiction of these citation patterns, to search within citations and to examine journal rankings. The three main databases for citation analysis are Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar. This guide will steer you through the process of finding citation counts and journal rankings using these and other resources.

Why use it?

  • To find out how much impact a particular article has had, by showing which other authors based some work upon it or cited it as an example within their own papers.

  • To find out more about a field or topic; i.e. by reading the papers that cite a seminal work in that area.

  • To determine how much impact a particular author has had by looking at his/her total number of citations.

Keep in Mind:

  • Citation indexes are primarily based on selected journal literature. If the author is most likely to be cited in books, non-English language journals, or journals not covered in the database, the usefulness of citation analysis is limited.

  • For best results, work from a complete and accurate list of an author's publications. Authors do not always use the same name throughout their careers.

  • Be careful when searching author names. Some databases use last name and first initial. Be sure to truncate the initial (add *) to see a more complete list.

  • Names and other bibliographic information are supplied by the citing author and so may not be correct. Look for strays and evaluate if it is the same publication.


Getting Started

If you want to learn about: Go to:
Citation counts for your research publications Citation Analysis 
How to track who is citing you Citation Analysis 
The impact factor of a particular journal Journal Rankings - Impact Factor
Other measures that rate the impact of journals Journal Rankings - Eigenfactor and SCImago
Other indicators of a journal's quality Journal Rankings - Other Indicators
The impact of a particular scientist H-Index
Caveats and rationale of citation research Further Readings


This guide was inspired by a guide created at the University of Michigan Library.


Citation Searching - A love story...


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