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Business Citation Analysis and Scholarly Impact

Citation analysis studies the impact and assumed quality of an article, journal or author based on the number of times articles or authors have been cited by others, and the impact and ranking of the associated journals in that field.

Citation Analysis caveats

The metrics used for citation analysis are often criticized as an assessment tool.  The following are some frequently stated concerns:

  • The metric is only as accurate as the information used to generate it; if any publications or citations are excluded the resulting metric will be inaccurate leading to undervaluation.
  • Citation counts may include erroneous or negative citations.
  • The sytem can be "gamed" by inflating counts with self-citations and citations to one journal or article.
  • Relying on citation counts for assessment may lead emerging scholars and their works to be undervalued as it often takes several years for a publication to become highly cited.
  • All disciplines and publication types do not receive equal coverage by the citation tools.  Not all journals are included, and books and international publications are often excluded.
  • Most citation tools emphasize the sciences over the humanities and social sciences.
  • It can be difficult to distinguish scholars, particularly those with common surnames, due to a lack of a unique identifier.
  • Because of the differences in journal titles analyzed in each field metrics among different fields should not be compared; the impact metrics for a hard science like chemistry will always be higher than for business journals.

Click on the OTHER QUALITY INDICATORS tab  to see what other factors can be used to judge the quality of a journal; citation analysis metrics are only one tool for assessing the scholarly worth of an author or journal.