Citation Analysis was originally conceived as a way to correct for subjective perception. Instead of just making an educated guess about the most prestigious journal in a field, citation analysis provides a mathematical measure of how many articles from the journal have been cited over a specific time frame, adding a measure of objectivity.
As a supplement to the peer review process, citation analysis can also be used to measure how an individual's publications have affected his or her field. This information is often used in making tenure decisions
Questions citation analysis can help answer:
A student asks you "What are the best journals in the field of Anthropology?"
A professor asks you "Who is citing my articles? How many times have I been cited?"
A student asks you "How do I know this article is important?"
A professor asks you "Which journal should I publish in?"
New research is being done to define 'altmetrics' that also define a researcher's impact. The method of communication can vary but is outside of the traditional journal article.
Here is a printable synopsis of the major concepts discussed in this guide created by Robin Kear at the University of Pittsburgh.
This guide includes content adapted with permission from Robin Kear, Reference/Instruction Librarian, University of Pittsburgh, and Danielle Colbert-Lewis, Reference Librarian, North Carolina Central University.