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Citation Analysis for Promotion & Tenure

Borrowed from colleague and librarian Sheila Lafferty at the UConn Library, Storrs, CT

Citation Analysis

Sources for Citation Analysis

There are several tools available for citation analysis, some are subscription-based and others are free. Each tool has its strengths and weaknesses and none of them covers the entire universe of scholarly publications. Therefore, it is important to use more than one tool to get a fuller picture of the scholarly impact of an author or a journal. Below is a table highlighting the characteristics of two major citation analysis tools:

Sources for Citation Analysis Compared

Subject Focus Science, Technology, Medical, Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities
  • Life Sciences
  • 6390 titles
  • Health Sciences, 12,990 titles (including 100% coverage of Medline titles)
  • Physical Sciences > 11,800 titles
  • Social Sciences > 10,100 titles
Coverage 22,000+ journals
Time Span

66 millions records, of which:

  • 39.5 million records include references going back to 1996 (84% include references)
  • 24 million pre-1996 records go back as far as 1823
Updating 1-2 times a week
  • User friendly search interface
  • Broader coverage of journals (21,500 peer-reviewed journals)
  • Downloadable reference list
Weaknesses Citation tracking is limited to the relatively narrow time span of 1996+
Subject Focus Medical, Scientific, Technical, Business, Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities
  • Selections from PubMed, IEEE, American Institute of Physics, proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,, American Medical Association and other medicine journals, Ingenta, SpringerLink,Wiley Interscience, Cambridge journals, Taylor and Francis, Sage Publications, Blackwell-Synergy, and others
  • Open access journals and pre-prints
  • Online dissertations and theses
Coverage Unknown
Time Span Theoretically, whatever is available on the Web
Updating Monthly on average
  • Provides a more comprehensive picture of scholarly impact as it indexes non-traditional sources not covered by WOS and Scopus.
  • Includes peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts, and articles from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities, and other scholarly organizations
  • Better coverage of newer materials than both WOS and Scopus
  • International and multi-lingual coverage
  • Limited search features
  • Inflated citation counts due to inclusion of non-scholarly sources such as promotional pages, table of contents pages, course readings lists etc.
  • Weeding irrelevant hits is time consuming
  • Difficult to export citations
  • No way to determine what sources, and time spans are covered
  • Limited to what is available on the Web


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