The Web of Science database (composed of: Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Science Citation Index Expanded) is THE original citation research source and, along with Google Scholar, is one of the most interdisciplinary and most comprehensive citation resource. Web of Science extracts the citation information from the articles in over 10,000 journals (aka the "source journals") from almost every discipline.
A citation search in the Web of Science is not a complete citation search:
This guide will show how to use the Web of Science to:
More tutorials (both live and recorded) plus materials for Web of Science are available from Thomson-Reuters Scientific.
Getting the highest citation count requires not only finding the number of times an article was accurately cited, but also the number of times the article was incompleted cited or cited incorrectly. The incomplete and incorrect citations will hereafter be refered to as "variant citations".
Be aware: The citation count will only include the number of times the publication was cited by articles covered within the Web of Science. Web of Science does not count citations from every journal published around the world, nor does it count citations from books, dissertations/theses, patents, technical reports or other types of publications.
Once the citation count is determined, the "who is citing the publication" information can be displayed.
If you would prefer a more visual representation of citation analysis, try the citation mapping feature.
Be Aware: Citing publications that are from the conference proceedings module, are not part of the data in the citation analysis reports.
For those who prefer a more visual presentation of the "who is citing this publication" information, a citation mapping feature is available which displays a map of both forward and backward citation analysis for a single article.
An online demonstration of the citation mapping feature is available.
Sometimes an author cites him/herself; it's possible to eliminate those self-citations from the results set.
You can also remove self-citations manually from results by following the directions below.
For an author, the Citation Report feature displays:
Be Aware: The Citation Report only analyzes the correct citations to the author's journal articles from the journals covered in the Web of Science; variant-citations are not covered, nor can an analysis be done on an author's books, conference papers, patents, other non-journal documents or from journals not covered by the Web of Science.
Note: the new feature "Author Search" may be used to find a list of an author's publications and from there retrieve a citation report. The accuracy of this method depends on whether the author has created a "Researcher ID" and how diligently the author has entered his/her publication information.
This process can be complicated and require a number of steps depending on the institution.
The Citation Report feature displays bar charts for the number of items published each year and the number of citations each year, plus counts for the average number of citations per item, the number of citations per year per publication, average number of citations per year per publication, and the H-index.
Be Aware: The Citation Report only analyzes the correct citations to the unit's journal articles published in the journals covered by the Web of Science; variant-citations are not covered, nor can an analysis be done on the unit's books, conference papers, patents, other non-journal documents or on articles from journals not covered by the Web of Science.
There are two methods for determining the most highly cited papers by an author.
This method can only be used for journals covered by the Web of Science; variant citations are not included in the citation determination.
To be notified whenever an article of interest is cited, use the "Citation Alert" feature. This feature is only available for articles that appeared in a journal covered by the Web of Science.
Be Aware: Citation Alerts may include references from the Conference Proceedings section of Web of Science; ASU does not subscribe to this section and therefore you will be unable to view these records.
To find the citation count, use the "Cited Reference" search so that variant forms of citation can be found; the citation count listed in the regular search portion of the database does not include the variant citation data and you may be undercounting by using this number.
If possible, avoid using all 3 fields in the "Cited Reference" search form as this may limit results to just the correct citation. Variant citations need to be found so that a more accurate assessment of citation can be made. The less put in the search form, the more likely variant-citations will be found.
Use truncation liberally in the "Cited Reference" search form to capture mistakes/variants by citing authors. For example: use Einst*n, A*
rather than Einstein, A* as the cited author; use J* rather than J Appl Phys or Journal of Applied Physics as the cited work.
Secondary authors are not always found in the "Cited Reference Search"; therefore, when doing a citation search for an item, search by it's first author.
If it takes more than one search to find all the publications for which you would like to Analyze Results or do a Citation Report, you can combine your individual result sets together to form one large set of results by using the the “Advanced Search” feature ("OR" the set numbers together). Once everything is in the same results set, using the Analyze Results or Citation Reports features will be more accurate. Example: #1 OR #2 OR #3
For prolific authors or authors with common names:
Search both author name with first initial as well as author name with first and middle initials -- use the OR operator in between. Example: smith j or smith jr
Combine the author with a date or range of dates. If using the "Cited Reference" search form, be sure to include likely typo errors in the date. Example: 1998 or 1993 or 1989
Combine the author with the Publication Name. If using the "Cited Reference" search form, be sure to include likely variations such as abbreviations, acronyms and known misspellings in the cited work field.
For example, if the cited work is Journal of Solid State Chem, put “ J Sol* OR Sol* OR JSSC”. This would retrieve Journal of Solid State Chemistry (the correct journal name), Solid State Chemistry (an incorrect journal name in which the “Journal of” was dropped – a common occurrence), and the acronym if this is in common usage.
Tutorials on using the Web of Science are available at the publisher's site.
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