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Critical Thinking About Sources

What is Citation Analysis?

Citation analysis is a way of measuring the relative importance or impact of an author, an article or a publication by counting the number of times that author, article, or publication has been cited by other works. It could look like any of the following:

  • A count of the number of times one article is used by other researchers in their references
  • A count of the number of times a researcher is mentioned as an author in other researchers' references
  • A count of the number of times a particular journal is cited 

Most databases have begun to include some form of citation measurements. Web of Science, SCOPUS (the library doesn't have a subscription), PubMed, arXiv, and Google Scholar were among the first to do so.

For information on how often a journal has been cited, visit the Journal Citations Report database.

Citation Analysis in Databases

Most of our databases allow researchers to see how many times an article has been cited by others.

APA Psycnet article cited by 8

If you click "Cited by 8" you will get taken to a list of the articles that cited this one.

Some of the databases also allow researchers to see how many times references within the bibliography have in turn been cited.

For example, using the same article as above - let's look at the references

article reference list with links

If you click on PsycINFO - you can see the citation information for that referenced article. As seen below, that article has been cited 94 times!

reference article citation information

Web of Science, GoogleScholar, & Altmetrics

Web of Science

Each article will have a "Times Cited" field.

Times Cited field for articles

Each search can be limited by "Highly Cited in Field"

filter search by highly cited in field


For articles, there is a "Cited by"

google scholar cited by

Authors can create a Google Scholar Profile and claim their publications.

google scholar author profile with citation count

The h-index measures journal citations

google scholar h index


Is it always called Cited By?

Ebsco - PlumXmetrics are used

ebsco using plumx metrics for citations

Elsevier / Science Direct - "Citing Articles" on the right side

elsevier science direct citing articles

JAMA - Citations & Altmetrics are found above the article title.

jama network citations and altmetrics above article title

MAG (Mark Allen Online) - has a Metrics wheel to the right side

mag metric wheel on right

OVID - on the search results page, click "Find Citing Articles"

ovid find citing articles

‚ÄčProQuest - "Cited by" on the right side

proquest databases cited by

PsychNET - "Cited By" at the Article Level

cited by at article level in apa databases

Sage - Click on "Article Metrics" on the left side

sage article metrics for citations