This website uses cookies and similar technologies to understand visitors' experiences. By continuing to use this website, you accept our use of cookies and similar technologies,Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Feb 21 2022 - 04:00 PM
Workshop: Cited Reference Searching


Why find highly cited articles and authors? Is it helpful to see who has cited you or is writing on the same topic? Or are you just curious about the most cited scholarly journals with a view to publishing your own?

A number of databases provide the means of determining where a particular work or author has been cited by other authors in other works, frequently allowing you to trace the influence of an idea or theory among scholars and thinkers responding to it over time.

Web of Science


Web of Science comprises the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, the Social Sciences Citation Index, the Science Citation Index Expanded, and several other sub-databases, this resource supports searching by topic, author, or publication name, and is also a major means for doing cited reference searching, to find articles that cite a person’s work.

The Thomson-Reuters platform includes access to the following resources:

Web of science core collection

BIOSIS citation index


Zoological record

Current contents connect

Derwent innovations index

Data citation index

A number of excellent YouTube videos on various aspects of Web of Science searching can be found here.

Image: BCL - Spiderweb, Wikimedia Commons



Scopus provides indexing, abstracting of and citation linking to journals in biology, physics, chemistry, geosciences, agriculture, medicine, business, social work, and the social sciences. Scopus provides peer-reviewed literature and quality web sources with smart tools to track, analyze, and visualize research.

See here for Scopus tutorials.

Image: Person Holding Black and Gray Round Scope, Pexels

Google Scholar


Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature across a wide variety of publishing formats and disciplines. Google Scholar provides the means to search by author or publication title, and indicates and provides links to works that have cited the documents retrieved.

The About Google Scholar page provides useful guidance on searching, citations, metrics, and other features and capabilities of Scholar. 

Image: Orion Aveugle Cherchant le Soleil, Nicolas Poussin, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wikimedia Commons

ISI Journal Citation Reports

Journal Citation Reports is a database that facilitates the evaluation and comparison of journals, using citation data drawn from over 11,000 scholarly and technical journals from more than 3,300 publishers in over 80 countries; provides information on the most frequently cited, the highest impact, and the largest journals in a field. It includes journal impact factor, as well as Eigenfactor score.


Image: Canis Major Lepus, Columba Noachi & Cela Sculptoris, from Plos ECR Community

Eigenfactor, CiteScore, h-Indices

Web of Science: Thomson-Reuters

The Eigenfactor score was developed by Jevin West and Carl Bergstromat the University of Washington, is a rating of the total importance of a scientific journal. Eigenfactor scores and Article Influence scores are calculated by, where they can be freely viewed. The scores rely on 5-year citation data.

Read more about the Eigenfactor Project; the FAQ addresses many questions about the metrics used.

Scopus: Elsevier

Scopus uses a number of metrics: CiteScore which measures average citations received per document published in the serial. SCImago Journal Rank measures weighted citations received by the serial. Citation weighting depends on subject field and prestige (SJR) of the citing serial. Source Normalized Impact per Paper measures actual citations received relative to citations expected for the serial’s subject field.

  • These metrics are detailed in the website if you click on the "i" (information button).

Google Scholar 

The h-index is an author-level metric that attempts to measure both the productivity and citation impact of the publications of a scientist or scholar. The index is based on the set of the scientist's most cited papers and the number of citations that they have received in other publications.

Image: Kitchen Scale, Wikimedia

Further References

Check out these select readings:

Alonso, S.; Cabrerizo, F. J.; Herrera-Viedma, E.; Herrera, F. (2009). h-index: A review focused in its variants, computation and standardization for different scientific fields. Journal of Informetrics, 3(4): 273–289.

Althouse, B. M., West, J. D., Bergstrom, C. T. and Bergstrom, T. (2009). Differences in impact factor across fields and over time. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60: 27–34.

Bharvi, D., Garg, K., & Bali, A. (2003). Scientometrics of the international journal ScientometricsScientometrics, 56(1), 81-93.

Hirsch, J. E. (2005). An index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102(46), 16569-16572.

Hirsch, J.E. (2010). An index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output that takes into account the effect of multiple coauthorship. Scientometrics, 85(3), 741-754.

Hudson, J. (2007). Be known by the company you keep: Citations — quality or chance? Scientometrics, 71(2), 231-238.

Lange, L. (2001). Citation counts of multi-authored papers — first-named authors and further authors. Scientometrics, 52(3), 457-470.

Norris, M., Oppenheim, C. and Rowland, F. (2008). The citation advantage of open-access articlesJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59: 1963–1972.

Yang, K. and Meho, L. I. (2006). Citation analysis: A comparison of Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science. Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 43: 1–15.


Posted in: Learning at the LibraryWorkshops|By: Jennifer Govan|1152 Reads