A citation is a reference to a specific work cited in another work. In most instances, the work is a scholarly work such as a peer-reviewed journal article.
Citation analysis is the examination of citing works to an individual work (or a group of works). It allows for contextual understanding as to the nature, purpose and motivation of the citing author/s and is a traditional tool for measuring impact using publication data. Some characteristics of citing works that can be used for narrative purposes include:
The inherent assumption is that significant publications will demonstrate a high citation count. In some instances, citation analysis may not provide the entire story of the impact of a research project. Issues are:
One resource for determining how the number of citations to a work compares to other cited works is Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters) Essential Science Indicators (ESI). ESI is a compilation of science performance statistics and science trends data based on journal article publication counts and citation data from Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters) databases such as Web of Science. ESI provides Field Baseline tables based on specific research fields for citation analysis: Citation Rates and Percentiles. Each table contains citation data for the past ten years.
As an example, the Citation Rates Table displays data on the average citation rates of papers within the scientific fields over each of the past 10 years. The calculation is number of citations / number of papers, where papers is defined as regular scientific articles, review articles, proceedings papers, and research notes. The Percentiles Table displays levels of citation activity. The larger the minimum number of citations, the smaller the peer group.