Citation Analysis

1.1 Introduction:

Bibliometrics is a set of measurement techniques which usually used with the application of mathematical and statistical methods to books and other media of communication. Bibliometrics is not a single term it includes informetrics, scientometrics, webometrics altmetrics, and citation analysis, etc. It conventionally used by the librarians and professionals related to the subject of library and information science for studying the process of communication, information flows, and related topics for better understanding and effective management and dissemination of information.

Basically, bibliometrics as a measurement technique has wide functions to be aware with the trends in authorship and collaboration in research as well as the research trends in a subject, core periodicals, obsolescence and scattering of scientific literature. It also assists to count usefulness of secondary periodicals in estimating the comprehensiveness. It also helps in studying the author productivity, characteristics of subject literature’s including structure of knowledge, historical and sociological aspects of science and helpful in the formulation of need-based collection development policy weeding and stacking policy, science policy studies and many more.Citation

Earlier, Bibliometric was a simple statistical technique of counting to evaluate and quantity of the growth of a subject, but lately, it is used for a variety of reasons such as the determination of various scientific indicators, evaluation of scientific output, to subscribe to the journals for libraries and even forecasting the latent of a particular pasture. The attractiveness in the acceptance of these methods in various disciplines encouraged the astonishing growth of literature on bibliometric and its related areas. Bibliometric mapping of science and technology is the method to envisage the field of knowledge, and it is accomplished by creating landscape maps.

1.2 Citation Analysis:

Citation analysis is a non-intrusive method of finding patterns in specific populations’ use of research materials when one author cites another author, a relationship is established. Citation analysis uses citations in scholarly works to establish links. Many different links can be determined, such as links between authors, scholarly works, journals, fields, or even between two or more nations. Citations both from and to a certain document may be studied. Citation analysis is very useful to find out the influence of a single author on a given field by counting the number of times the author has been cited by others. Citation analyses permit researchers to see how frequently a work has been cited in articles and are an invaluable tool for any literature review.

Hence citations are nothing but the bibliographical references which are generally added with every research communication. A document referred in another article is called the cited document, and the previous the citing document. Description of the cited article is called a citation. It includes the statement of authorship, document, pagination, year of publication, places etc. The pattern of citation may change as per the types of publication. The citations also known as references, readings and they may appear as end-notes as well as footnotes.

Citations are ‘frozen footprints’ in the sands of scholarly achievements or the ‘signposts’ left behind when the information is utilized. A reference is an acknowledgment that one document gives to another and a citation is an acknowledgment that one document receives from another. Thus there is an implied relationship between the cited document and the citing document. This assumption has led to a number of studies focusing on citation counts, impact factor, bibliography coupling, co-citations, and citation indexes.

1.3 Meaning of Citation:

A citation is nothing but a bibliographic reference or a footnote, expresses a connection between two documents the citation represent inform of bibliographies, notes, further readings. It is seen that from 1920’s Library Literature has represented a number of citation studies but the term “Citation Analysis” never appear till 1956.

The significance of any study firstly based on more systematic citation count was by Gross and Gross (1927) just attempted to rank the journals in chemistry.

According to Garfield, when one document (B) mention or cite to another document (A), the later (A) has been listed by former (B) as a source of information.

Thus, a citation can be defined as the documents which are cited and quoted by the author for his writing.

1.4 Definitions of Citation Analysis:

1) Martin defined citation analysis, “As an activity involving analysis of citation and references which forms a part of primary scientific communication.”

2) According to Ravichandra Rao “By citation Analysis one can evaluate and interpret citations received by articles, authors, institutions and another aggregate of scientific activity.”

3) Narin and Moil state that “The most active are of modern bibliometrics are concerned with citations.”

1.5 Explanation of the Concept:

1.5.1 Bibliometrics:

Bibliometrics is a set of methods used to study or measure texts and information. Citation analysis and content analysis are commonly used bibliometric methods. The bibliometric methods often used in the field of library and Information science, and it has wide applications in other areas. Many research fields use the bibliometric methods to explore the impact of their field.

1.5.2 Webometrics:
Webometrics covers the nature and properties of the World Wide Web (www) by using the advance informetrics methodologies. The term webometrics is a originated from two modem English words, ‘web’ and `metric’. The word web is an acronym of World Wide Web (www). The Dictionary of Science to view and retrieve information from ‘documents’ containing links. On the other hand, metrics have to do with counting or measurement. Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary of English Language defined metrics as ‘the mathematical theory of measurement’. Webometrics is the new discipline that intends to apply Bibliometrics, Scientometrics, Informetrics and Cybermetrics techniques to the process of scientific communication, which takes place on Web in order to know and describe them from a quantitative point of view (Walia & Kaur, 2008).


Webometrics “The study of the quantitative analysis of the construction and use of information resources, structures and technologies on the Web drawing on bibliometric and informetrics approaches.”

1.5.3 Citation Analysis:

Citation analysis is the interrogation of the frequency, patterns and graphs of Citations in articles and books.

1.5.4 Open Access:

Open Access (OA) refers free online access to articles that have traditionally been published in scholarly journals. A mostly open access material in the context is distributed through the World Wide Web (www) and Open Access articles normally have limited Copyright and licensing restrictions.

1.5.5 Open Access Journals:

Open access journals are scholarly journals that are freely accessible and available online to the user without financial, legal or technical constraints other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.”

1.5.6 Bibliographic Coupling:

Bibliographic coupling emerge when two works reference a common third work in their Bibliography. The coupling strength is higher the more citations the two bodies have in common, and this coupling is used to extrapolate how similar the subject matter of the two works is. Bibliographic coupling is invaluable in all fields of research done in the past. A closely related notion is the “co-citation index” which refers to the number of times two works are cited together in subsequent a literature.

1.5.7 Co-citation:

Co-citation analysis is a unique method for studying the cognitive structure of science. It is combined with single link clustering and multidimensional scaling techniques. Co-citation analysis can literally map the structure of specialized research areas as well as science as a whole.

1.5.8 Self-citation:

A self-citation is a reference of an author provided in a document to other documents written by him. Self-references may result from the cumulative nature of individual research, the need for personal satisfaction, or the value of self-citation as a composition and tactical medium in the struggle for visibility and scientific authority.

1.6 Application of Citation Analysis:

1.6.1 Literature of studies: The citations in a particular subject area are to be studied to describe the pattern of citation.

1.6.2 Type of literature studies: Citation analysis can be used to calculate the dissemination of results reported in certain types of literature such as government documents, dissertations, or the exchange of literature of regional scientific societies.

1.6.3 User studies: The application of citation analysis technique is used to resolve user’s needs which are much useful for the collection development and designing of library services.

1.6.4 Historical studies: Smith (1981) has examined that historical research using citation analysis is based on a literary model of the scientific process. The citations can be used to indicate the chronology of events, relationships among them, and their relevant importance.

1.6.5 Communication pattern: Citations may also show scientific communication patterns. These studies also specify the kind of researchers carried in a field of study like single or multi researchers etc.

1.6.6 Evaluative Bibliometrics: In these investigations, citation analysis is defined as the evaluation and interpretation of the citations received by articles, scientists, institutions and countries (Smith, 1981).

1.6.7 Information Retrieval: It is examined that perhaps, use of citation relation is having the greater impact of information retrieval, where citations have been used to enhance more traditional approaches to literature searching.

1.6.8 Collection Development: Primarily citation analysis is applied to journal collection development in a library. The citation analysis helps in deciding the titles of journals to be acquired.

Original Reference Article:

  • A Study of Citation Analysis of Psychology Journal Available in Directory of Open Access Journals.

Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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