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Bibliometrics and Altmetrics: Measuring the Impact of Knowledge: Alternative Methods

Introduction

Certain disciplines, journals, and document types may not be well represented in the more traditional sources for citation analysis, such as Web of Science.  In this situation, it becomes necessary to find alternative sources for locating citations to an author or published work.  This page identifies potential alternative sources grouped by their database search interface since each of the sources within a group would have a common search strategy for extracting citation information. 

Click on any option below to go to the information for that source:

Adapted from Citation Analysis Guide, University of Michigan Library. Authors: Paul Grochowski, Barbara Shipman, Deirdre Spencer, and Sue Wortman. [Accessed June, 2014]. 

ACM Digital Library

Database Description:

ACM Digital Library - covers computing literature from the Association of Computing Machinery and many other publishers.  Includes books, journal articles, conference proceedings, doctoral dissertations, master's theses, and technical reports.

 

Directions:

  1. Search for an author or title to be cited (e.g. Dorothea Wagner).
  2. Be sure "expanded form" has been selected for the "Display results" option.
  3. The citation count will be listed in the Bibliometrics section of each search result entry.

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Amazon.com

Database Description:

Some of the books in Amazon.com show which other books have cited that book. (Be aware of the limitations of Amazon.com Citations).

Directions:

To search a particular book, set the category on the left of the search box to Books and then search for the book using the bibliographic information you have about the book.

Example:

  1. Click on the title of the book:  Woody, B. (1992). Black women in the workplace: Impacts of structural change in the economy. New York: Greenwood Press.
  2. Look toward the bottom of the listing for the Citations section (after the Customer Reviews section).

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Astrophysics Data System Abstract Service

Database Description:

Astrophysics Data System Abstract Service - a digital library portal for researchers in astronomy and physics. It is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under a NASA grant.

Directions:

When you run a search, entries that have been cited by others will list how many have cited this entry and will provide a link to those entries

Astrophysics Data System example

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BioMed Central

Database Description:

Biomed Central is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher of peer–reviewed open access journals. The portfolio of journals spans all areas of biology, biomedicine and medicine, and includes broad interest titles, such as BMC Biology and BMC Medicine alongside specialist journals, such as Retro virology and BMC Genomics. All original research articles published by BioMed Central are made freely accessible online immediately upon publication..

Directions:

          1. Use the search menu to find the author or article title. 

Bio Med Central search box

         2. After clicking on the link, you can view information such as the altmetrics score and number of times cited: 

Altmetrics info in BioMed Central

 

         

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EBSCOhost Databases

Database Descriptions:

  • Academic Search Complete - multi-disciplinary database providing information for nearly every area of academic study.
  • America: History and Life - covers articles, book chapters, and books on the history and culture of the United States and Canada. 
  • Business Source Complete - covers full text journals in all disciplines of business, including marketing, management, MIS, POM, accounting, finance and economics.
  • Library, Information Science, and Technology Abstracts - covers librarianship, classification, cataloging, bibliometrics, online information retrieval, information management and more.
  • MEDLINE - Journal articles dealing with life sciences and biomedicine. 
  • PsycARTICLES - full text articles from 60 journals published by the American Psychological Association and other allied organizations.
  • PsycINFO - covers psychology articles, book chapters, and occasionally books. 

Directions:

         1.  Click on "Cited References" in the navigation bar across the top.

Cited References

         2. Search for the author or article title.The search results will return a list of documents that include the search terms you entered. Jane Austen Cited References

 

         3. The articles with a checkbox have been cited by other articles. Click on the checkbox and select Find Citing Articles to retrieve the results. 

Citing Articles

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Espacenet's Worldwide Patent Database

Database Description:

Espacenet - a worldwide patent database developed and maintained by the European Patent Office containing patent information for over 80 countries and patenting agencies.  This is not a complete database of all the world's patents and while some of the patents databases are available in full text, others only have bibliographic information plus an abstract.

Directions:

To see if a patent has been cited by other patents:

  1. Go to Espacenet
  2. In the left column, click on advanced search.
  3. Keep the database selection set to "Worldwide."
  4. Put the patent number in the patent number box (if necessary, include the two letter country code immediately before the number if too many results are retrieved from a plain number search).
  5. On the results list, click on the title of the patent to display the bibliographic data screen.
  6. On the bibliographic data screen, click on Citing Documents. 

Espacenet bibliographic data

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Full Text Journal Collections

Database Descriptions:

  • HighWire Press - hosts almost 1200 journals from over 140 scholarly publishers with emphasis on the life sciences.
  • JSTOR - covers past years of scholarly journals in all disciplines, cutting off at volumes published one to five years ago.
  • Project Muse - covers approximately 400 humanities and social sciences journals representing over 60 scholarly publishers.
  • Wiley InterScience - covers 1400 full text scholarly journals published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Directions:

These full-text journal collections do not provide a special search option for finding citing articles or show links to citing articles.  But since the full text of the articles also includes the references, it is possible to search for citations using basic keyword searching methods. 

Be Aware: Each of these collections has a somewhat different search mechanism, so the directions given here have been written in general terms that then must be applied to the specific search entry requirements of a given collection. 

  1. Search the full text articles, including the references, for the author last name and the article title to be cited using the advanced search option if available.
  2. If necessary, enclose the title words in quotations to force searching as a phrase.
  3. Do not limit the search to the author or title fields.
  4. Take advantage of any search functions that allow you to limit to document type or other feature that would help exclude non-relevant material.
  5. Scan the results for citing references from other authors ignoring hits on the original article and self citations.

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inSPIRE

Database Description:

inSPIRE - indexes the literature of particle and high-energy physics.

Directions:

  1. Find the article of interest (search by author, title, etc.)
  2. Look below the article entry for a line that says Cited By and gives a number.
  3. Citations listed here are inSPIRE journal articles or conference papers that cite this item.

 

 

 

 

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PLOS Journals

Database Description:

Public Library of Science (PLOS) publishes seven peer-reviewed open access science journals. Subject coverage include biology, medicine, genetics, pathogens, biology, tropical diseases. 

Directions:

Article-Level Metrics tool allows researchers to determine the importance, or impact, of each article. All articles show the metrics for the article including number of views, whether the article has been cited, whether the article has been bookmarked, and whether any blogs have discussed the article. In an Advanced Search you can search the References field to find articles that have cited a particular author.

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ProQuest Databases

Database Descriptions:

  • EconLit - covers economic development, history, macroeconomics, microeconomics. Cited references vary by journal title.

Directions:

  1. Search for the author or article title to be cited.
  2. Look for items in the search results that have "Cited by" at the bottom of the entry, indicating they have been cited by other articles in the ProQuest databases.
  3. Click on the "Cited by" link to see the articles from the ProQuest databases within the same disciplinary group (Social Sciences, Engineering and Materials, Natural Sciences, or APA Psyc... databases) that are citing the original source.
 

 

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PubMed

Database Description:

PubMed - covers bio-medical and life sciences journal articles. Links to citing articles found in the PubMed Central collection of full text journals.

Directions:

  1. In PubMed, use the dropdown menu (set by default to All Databases) and select PMC.
  2. Click on Search, without entering any term.
  3. Go to Advanced.
  4. In the pulldown menu under "Builder" select Reference Author. You may also add other terms in different fields in a second box. You may also click on Show index list when you have chosen a name in Reference Author and you will see a list of authors with the name you are searching. Select one or more and the search engine will place the names in the search box and search those names.
  5. Click on Search.
  6. The results showing are those articles in the PubMed Central Collection in which the "Reference Author" was cited.

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Sage Journals Online

Database Description:

Sage Journals Online - full text journals published by Sage, most going back to volume 1 issue 1 for the title. Covers communication studies, criminology, education, health sciences, management & organization studies, materials science, political science, psychology, sociology and urban studies & planning.

Directions:

  1. Use the dropdown menu on Advanced Search screen to change the search field to References.
  2. If accessing the journals from off-campus, sign in with your UBalt username and password to access full text (if  UBalt have a subscription). 

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U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Databases

Database Descriptions:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has two patent databases:

  • Issued Patents contains the full text of patents granted from 1976 to the present and can be searched for citation information.
  • Published Applications contains the full text of published applications since March 15, 2001 and does NOT contain citation information. 

Directions for finding citation information in the Issued Patent database:

  1. To determine how many times a U.S. patent has been cited by another U.S. Patent:
    Using the Quick Search:
    • Enter the number of the patent (example: 6404950) in the first search box and change the field from "All Fields" to "Referenced By"
       
  2. To determine how many times a foreign patent has been cited by a U.S. Patent: 
    Using the Quick Search:
    • Enter the foreign patent number in the first search box and change the field from "All Fields" to "Foreign References"
    • Be Aware: The way foreign patents are cited is not consistent - you'll need to search several variations including with and without the country code before the number and with variant spacing and punctuation --- be creative!
       
  3. To determine how many times a non-patent publication has been cited by a U.S. Patent: 
    Using the Quick Search:
    • Enter in the first author's last name in the first search box and change the field from "All fields" to "Other References" 
    • If the author's last name is too common, return to the Quick Search interface and use the second search box to include a word/abbreviation from the journal title (or title of the book or conference); change from "All fields" to "Other References"  (Example: chemical or chem)

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