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Citation Analysis

Basics of citation analysis, impact factors and scholarly publishing.


Certain disciplines, journals, and document types may not be well represented in the more traditional sources for citation analysis, such as Web of Science.  In this situation, it becomes necessary to find alternative sources for locating citations to an author or published work.  This page identifies potential alternative sources that are grouped by their database search interface, since each of the sources within a group would have a common search strategy for extracting citation information. 

Click on any option below to go to the information for that source:

ACM Digital Library

Database Description:

  • ACM Digital Library - covers computing literature from the Association of Computing Machinery and many other publishers.  Includes books, journal articles, conference proceedings, doctoral dissertations, master's theses, and technical reports.


  1. Search for an author or title to be cited.
  2. Be sure "expanded form" has been selected for the "Display results" option.
  3. The Citation Count will be listed in the Bibliometrics section of each search result entry.

ProQuest Databases

Database Descriptions:

  • BioOne Abstracts and Indexes - covers biological, ecological, and environmental science journals.  Cited references begin in 1998.
  • EconLit - covers economic development, history, macroeconomics, microeconomics.  Cited references vary by journal title.
  • Social Services Abstracts - covers social work and human services articles.  Cited references begin in 2004.
  • Sociological Abstracts - covers sociology articles.  Cited references begin in 2002 for core journals and in 2004 for all others.


  1. Search for the author or article title to be cited.
  2. Look for items in the search results that have "Cited by [number]" at the bottom of the entry, after the "View Record" and "References" links, indicating they have been cited by other articles in the ProQuest databases.
  3. Click on the "Cited by" link to see the articles from the ProQuest databases within the same disciplinary group (Social Sciences, Engineering and Materials, Natural Sciences, or APA Psyc databases) that are citing the original source.

EBSCOhost Databases

Database Descriptions:

    • America: History and Life - covers articles, book chapters, and books on the history and culture of the United States and Canada.  Cited references begin 11/28/2007.
    • CINAHL - covers journal articles in nursing and allied health.
    • Historical Abstracts - covers articles, book chapters, and books on the history of the world (excluding the U.S. and Canada) from 1450 to the present.  Cited references begin 11/28/2007.
    • PsycInfo - covers psychology articles, book chapters, and occasionally books.  Cited references begin in 2001, but there are some as far back as 1926.


  1. Click on "Cited References" in the navigation bar across the top.
  2. Search for the author or article title to be cited.
  3. Check the box next to each relevant item in the results that has a "Times Cited in this Database" link.
  4. Click the "Find Citing Articles" button at the top of the results to see the articles that are citing the original source.

Espacenet's Worldwide Patent Database

Database Description:

  • Espacenet - a worldwide patent database developed and maintained by the European Patent Office containing patent information for over 80 countries and patenting agencies.  This is not a complete database of all the world's patents, and while some of the patents databases are available in full text, others only have bibliographic information plus an abstract.


To see if a patent has been cited by other patents:

  1. Go to Espacenet.
  2. In the left column, click on number search.
  3. Keep the database selection set to "Worldwide."
  4. Put the patent number in the patent number box (if necessary, include the two-letter country code immediately before the number if too many results are retrieved from a plain number search).
  5. On the results list, click on the title of the patent to display the bibliographic data screen.
  6. On the bibliographic data screen, click on "View list of citing documents."

Full Text Journal Collections

Database Descriptions:

  • JSTOR - covers past years of scholarly journals in all disciplines, cutting off at volumes published one to five years ago.
  • Project Muse - covers approximately 400 humanities and social sciences journals representing over 60 scholarly publishers.
  • Springer Link - covers over 1900 full text scholarly journals published by Springer.
  • Wiley Online Library (formerly Wiley InterScience) - covers 1400 full-text scholarly journals published by Wiley-Blackwell.


These full-text journal collections do not provide a special search option for finding citing articles or show links to citing articles.  But since the full text of the articles also includes the references, it is possible to search for citations using basic keyword searching methods.

Be Aware: Each of these collections has a somewhat different search mechanism.  The directions given here have been written in general terms that then must be applied to the specific search entry requirements of a given collection. 

  1. Search the full-text articles, including the references, for the author last name and the article title to be cited using the advanced search option if available.
  2. If necessary, enclose the title words in quotations to force searching as a phrase.
  3. Do not limit the search to the author or title fields.
  4. Take advantage of any search functions that allow you to limit to document type or other feature that would help exclude non-relevant material.
  5. Scan the results for citing references from other authors ignoring hits on the original article and self citations.

IEEE Xplore

Database Description

IEEE Xplore contains almost 2 million articles and papers from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineer's (IEEE) journals and conference proceedings.  The subject of "Electrical Engineering" is broadly defined here, and articles may be found from all areas of engineering in which electronics may be applied.  IEEE Xplore's citation information only covers what other IEEE publications are citing each other. 


  1. Find the article of interest (search by author, title, etc.).
  2. Look below the Publication Year information for a line that says Cited By and gives a number.
  3. Citations listed here are IEEE journal articles or conference papers that cite this item.
  4. Note that you can also search by author in Advanced Search and then sort by Most Cited.


Database Description:

  • MathSciNet indexes the mathematical literature and has a special search features called "Author Citations."  "The Citation Database is based on the information contained in reference lists drawn from certain journals covered by MathSciNet. Reference lists in all of the journals covered in the Citation Database go back to a publication year of 2000. A smaller number of journals have reference lists in MathSciNet back to 1997."  


  • Click on the "Citations" tab at the top of the search box.
  • Enter either the author's "lastname" or "lastname, firstinitial" in the search box.
  • If more than one author matches the search, click on the scroll arrow in the box and select the appropriate author (you will only be able to select one author at a time from the list).
  • A list of the author's publications that have been cited will be displayed.
  • In the left column labeled "Citations," next to each publication is the number of times the publication has been cited by other publications in the MathSciNet database.
  • To see what the citing publications are
    • Click on the cited publication's title in the "Publications" column
    • On the record for the publication, near the upper right corner will be a gray box with "From References" and "From Reviews" links
    • Click on these links to see the citing publications


Database Description:

  • PubMed - covers bio-medical and life sciences journal articles.  Includes links to citing articles found in the PubMed Central collection of full-text journals.


  1. Search for an author or article title to be cited.
  2. Click on the check boxes of the relevant items in the search results or leave them unchecked to select all the items on that page.
  3. Select "Cited in PMC" from the Display menu options to see if any full-text articles from PubMed Central cite the original sources.


Database Description:

  • ScienceDirect - covers scientific, medical, and technical articles and books.


  1. Search for an author or article title to be cited.
  2. Click on a desired item in the search results to view the full record.
  3. Choose the Get Cited option in the dropdown menu.

SciFinder Scholar

Database Description:

  • SciFinder Scholar - covers chemistry and chemistry-related life sciences journal articles and books.


  1. Search for an author or article title to be cited.
  2. Select the relevant items from the search results.
  3. Click the "Get Related..." button at the top of the screen.
  4. Choose the "Get Citing" option to see articles from CAplus and MEDLINE citing the original sources.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Databases

Database Descriptions:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has two patent databases:

  • Issued Patents contains the full text of patents granted from 1976 to the present and can be searched for citation information.
  • Published Applications contains the full text of published applications since March 15, 2001 and does NOT contain citation information. 

Directions for finding citation information in the Issued Patent database:

  1. To determine how many times a U.S. patent has been cited by another U.S. Patent:
    Using the Quick Search
    • Enter the number of the patent (example: 6404950) in the first search box and change the field from "All Fields" to "Referenced By"

  2. To determine how many times a foreign patent has been cited by a U.S. Patent:
    Using the Quick Search
    • Enter the foreign patent number in the first search box and change the field from "All Fields" to "Foreign References"
    • Be Aware: The way foreign patents are cited is not consistent---you'll need to search several variations including with and without the country code before the number and with variant spacing and punctuation.  Be creative!

  3. To determine how many times a non-patent publication has been cited by a U.S. Patent:
    Using the Quick Search
    • Enter in the first author's last name in the first search box, and change the field from "All fields" to "Other References" 
    • If the author's last name is too common, return to the Quick Search interface and use the second search box to include a word/abbreviation from the journal title (or title of the book or conference); change from "All fields" to "Other References"  (example: chemical or chem)
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