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Citation tracking refers to a method of measuring the impact of research studies and/or for identifying leading scholars in a particular discipline based upon a systematic analysis of how often a specific research study has been cited by others, who has cited a particular study, and by exploring what disciplines are represented by those subsequent citations.
Citation tracking can be an effective
way to use a "landmark" or influential article to find more recent,
related articles that cite that article. It also can be an effective
way to identify who has subsequently cited the work of a leading scholar in a particular field.
When conducting your literature review, citation tracking can be a
particularly useful means for evaluating a study's "impact" in a
discipline based upon the number of times an author or article has been
cited subsequently by others.
Citation tracking can also be an effective means of determining the
interdisciplinary value of a particular study because you can identify
how many times subsequent citations to an article appeared in
disciplines outside of where the cited article was published.
When tracking citations, keep in mind the following points:
Authors do not always use the same name throughout their careers so be sure you work from a complete and accurate list of an author's publications.
In the case of the Web of Knowledge citation database, it uses APA style for citing authors [last name and first initial only], so a J Smith could be John, Jeff, Jane, Julie, etc. Be sure to truncate the initial [adding an asterick *] to see a more complete list of authors, then locate a record on a topic you know the author writes about and click on that author to excluse articles written by other J Smith's. Fortunately, the database does index more than the first author of a paper so if a second or third author has an uncommon name, you could search instead by that person's name.
Citation services are primarily based on selected journal literature. If the author is cited primarily in books, non-English language journals, or journals not covered in the database, the usefulness of your citation analysis is limited. In addition, citation services rarely cover articles published in scholarly open-access journals [journals published freely on the web].
Select "article locator" and search by author name and/or parts of the title. Click on the article title to see the number of times cited in the database (on the right). Most current publications not included.
Click on "advanced search" and do a "Citation and Document Text Search." Find the author's name in footnotes by typing the author's last name.
It covers dozens of subject areas and indexes thousands of general and scholarly titles and provides full-text for a significant number of the articles included. It is an excellent starting place for research for a paper, particularly if one isn't sure where to begin their research.
Select "Cited Reference Search" to find articles that cite the work(s) of an author. The database uses APA style of last name and first initial (e.g., Odell J*). Be sure to truncate the initial by adding an asterick after the letter (e.g., R*) to see a complete list of authors. The database does index more than the first author of an article.