What is it?
One way to measure the impact or significance of an article is to trace the scholarly conversation around it. How many times has the article been cited? How did those authors interact with the content of the original article? Has the article been republished as an essay in an edited volume? Keep in mind that citations by other authors are more impactful than the original author citing their own article (i.e. avoid counting self-citations).
Why use it?
Publishing research is one way to join in the scholarly conversation around a topic. One publishes in order for one to be read. In order to prove that your work is significant and has had an impact on the field, one needs to show that other researchers are reading their material, citing their material, and responding to their material.
What are the weaknesses of this process?
There is no one place to search all research for all citations everywhere. There will always be some citations left out. The process is further complicated by human error as well as variations in citation format according to different fields and publishers.
Keep track of research in your field, or set up alerts for your own publications. In most cases, you will need to create an account with the search service to set up your alerts for either RSS or email.
Databases supporting search alerts:
For more details on using these services to support your research, please contact your liaison librarian.
Publish or Perish: Publish or Perish is a software program that retrieves and analyzes academic citations. It uses Google Scholar to obtain the raw citations, then analyzes these and calculates a series of citation metrics. The results are available on-screen and can also be copied to the Windows clipboard (for pasting into other applications) or saved to a text file (for future reference or further analysis).
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