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Information for Faculty Authors

What is Citation Tracking?

Citation tracking, or citation analysis, is an important tool used to trace scholarly research, measure impact, and inform tenure and funding decisions. The impact of an article is evaluated by counting the number of times an article is cited in other authors' work. Researchers do citation analysis for several reasons:

  • find out how much impact an article has had, by showing which other authors have cited the article in their own papers
  • find out how much impact an author has had by looking at the frequency and number of his/her total citations
  • discover more about the development of a field or topic (by reading the papers that cite a seminal work in that area)

The output from citation studies is often the only way that non-specialists in governments and funding agencies, or even those in different scientific disciplines, can judge the importance of a piece of scientific research.

Who Cited My Article?

It used to be that only the ISI Citation Indexes would list citing articles. That has changed, thanks to the linking abilites of the Web. Many databases will tell you that article X has been cited N times by articles in its database. Be aware that this number is based only on the articles indexed by that database; there may be other journals that cite your article that aren't listed in that database. Be sure to:

  • Search multiple databases.
  • Search all permutations of the cited author's name: last name; last name, first and middle initials; last name and first initial.
  • If someone is second or third author, search by the lead author's name to locate the cited reference.
  • Author names and titles in foreign languages and non-Roman script will require extra effort to determine their transcription or transliteraton in each database.

Consider the list below of databases that have a citation searching feature as starting place. Check to see if your favorite database offers this feature as well.