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Analyzing Scholarly Research: Bibliometrics, Altmetrics, Journal Impact Factors, Citation Analysis: Citation Analysis

Purpose and Data Details

The importance of a publication is sometimes determined by counting the number of times it has been cited by other scholars, which helps to assess the article's impact on its discipline.  Also, searching for the most-cited articles can help identify key information ("citation chasing").

Different citation analysis tools count citations from different sets of publications in different ways.  Also, counting the number of times a work has been cited, often within the database you're searching, doesn't give a complete picture.  It's best to use more than one source to identify a citation count.

According to Publish or Perish 4 User's Manual, statistical measures used to describe the results of an analysis can include:

  • Total number of papers
  • Total number of citations
  • Average number of citations per paper
  • Average number of citations per author
  • Average number of citations per author per year
  • Average number of papers per author
  • Average number of authors per paper
  • Hirsch's h-index and related parameters
  • Egghe's g-index
  • The contemporary h-index
  • Three variations of the individual h-index
  • Average annual increase in the individual h-index
  • Age-weighted citation rate
  • An analysis of the number of authors per paper

Library-Provided Options

If you have any difficulty access the two titles suggested below, you can go through our library home page at  Click on "Databases A-Z" and scroll down to the database you want.

Free Options

Subject Guide

Lana Wood's picture
Lana Wood
Library 3118D