Citation analysis tool – Web of Science

This is one of a series of posts describing tools that are available for citation analysis.  For other tools see here.

Web of Science is one of the leading databases of scholarly research articles, covering a broad range of subject areas.  As a commercially provided database it features a number of added value services, including a sophisticated search function, links to cited and citing papers, citation reporting and an alerting service.

Web of ScienceYou can use Web of Science to track citations for individual authors or papers, or to establish the most cited papers in a subject area.

To access Web of Science:

  • Choose ‘Web of Science’ from the library’s A-Z list of resources
  • Click on the URL near the top of the screen and enter your university login details when requested
  • From the Web of Knowledge home page click on the ‘Web of Science’ tab at the top of the screen (this is very important, if you fail to do this the citation tools will not be available to you)

To find articles written by a specific author:

  • Click on ‘Author Finder’
  • Enter surname and initials and click on ‘Search by name’
  • Choose the ‘Author Sets’ that match the author you are searching for and click ‘View records’

To find articles that cite a person’s work:

  • Click on ‘Cited Reference Search’
  • Enter your search terms (author, work and year) and click on ‘Search’
  • Select items of interest and click ‘Finish Search’

To find articles on a particular subject area:

  •  Click on ‘Search’ at the top of the screen
  •  Enter your search terms and select ‘Topic’ or ‘Title’ for the field to search
  •  Click on the ‘Search’ button below the search boxes

Using the results:

In each of the above searches you will end up with a list of articles that can be refined, sorted or exported in a variety of ways. You can also create a ‘Citation Report’ for this set of results.

The Web of Science citation report:

  • Perform a search as above
  • Click on ‘Create Citation Report’ in the top right corner of the screen

For the given set of results, the Web of Science citation report charts the number of items published in each year and the total number of citations for these. It also displays a few statistics calculated from the results, including an average citation score and h-index.  Lastly, it lists the articles in descending order of their number of citations, enabling you to quickly see which are the most cited papers from that set of results.

The Web of Science citation report is particularly useful for finding the most highly cited papers in a subject area or by a specific author, but great care must be taken to ensure the results themselves are representative.  If your search strategy fails to find key articles then they will not appear in the citation report.

Posted on October 17, 2012, in Library, Support and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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