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Citation Analysis Research Guide  

This guide is designed to help those who need information on how to use library resources for citation analysis. This includes information about journal acceptance rates, impact factors, journal ranking, and how to find who has cited an article
Last Updated: Jan 22, 2015 URL: http://libguides.lib.usm.edu/citation Print Guide RSS Updates

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Cited Reference Searching or Citation Searching

Citation searching offers the unique capability of finding new, unknown information based on older, known information.

  • to evaluate the impact of a researcher's work (citation counts)
  • to evaluate the importance of a journal in a particular field (impact factor)
  • to find out how many times and where a publication is being cited
  • to track the history of a research idea by tracking the scholarly links that map scholarly impact and influence
  • to identify journals for publishing opportunities
  • to identify other researchers with common interests
  • to discover how an idea or innovation has been confirmed, applied, corrected, or developed over time
  • to identify seminal papers


This guide is designed to bring together library resources and services to assist anyone doing citation analysis.

Judging the quality of a publication, whether it is an entire journal or a particular journal article, is ultimately a fairly subjective process. Results can vary depending on which criteria are used, how measurements are made, how much information is available, and so on. Some disciplines have more established rankings than others. Also, the situation changes regularly as new resources are developed that try to provide this information. If you have questions about this process for your specific situation, please contact your reference librarian.

This guide was inspired by guides created at the University of Michigan Library and Arizona State University Library. We thank them for allowing us to make use of their content for our own guide.

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