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Google Scholar: Citation Analysis

Tools for Citation Analysis

What is Citation Analysis?

Citation analysis measures the impact of research via the number of times it is cited. Applications include:

  • Identifying seminal works in a field, by finding those that are frequently cited.
  • Evaluating the impact of individual articles.
  • Evaluating the impact of a researcher's body of work or of an institution's research output.
  • Tracing the influence of an author or work over time.

Using Google Scholar for Citation Analysis

Google Scholar can tell you how many times an article has been cited. This provides a measure of the article's scholarly impact.

It can also tell you where these citations appear, which leads to related articles and can show how the article was received.

Google Scholar Metrics provides a ranking of highly cited publications within languages and disciplines.

How is this different from ISI Web of Knowledge or Scopus?

ISI Web of Science and Scopus are two other databases for citation analysis available through Penn Libraries. Google Scholar differs from these in several key aspects.

  • Google Scholar includes citations that appear not only in journal articles, but also books, working papers and conference proceedings that do not appear in ISI or Scopus. Therefore, it may provide higher citation counts for researchers in the humanities, who often publish research as monographs.
  • It captures more citations from publications in languages other than English--though it is not comprehensive.
  • It may capture citations from publications that are not really scholarly.
  • Unlike other scholarly databases, Google Scholar does not maintain a list of journals that are included, so it is difficult to tell what the citation count is drawing from.

For more information, see Harzing, Anne-Wil. (2008) "Google Scholar - a new data source for citation analysis."