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Research Impact Toolkit - Art

What is Citation Analysis? (Or, who is citing/talking about my work?)

articles vector

Citation analysis, also called citation tracking or cited reference searching, involves identifying articles, books, or other materials that have cited a specific work. Citation analysis helps determine how much impact a particular scholarly work has had. There are a number of tools available; however, no single database covers all works that cite other works. Searching across several databases is necessary to ensure complete coverage.

Factors Unique to Art and Design Citations

Research Output Type -- Artists and designers often do not produce traditional textual work that can then be easily cited or referenced by other scholars. Instead, artists and designers may have a visual work published within someone else's textual scholarship, or have their visual work mentioned, critiqued, reviewed, or otherwise publicized elsewhere.

Document Format -- Art, architecture, and design fields remain heavily print based disciplines. Periodicals and books published in these disciplines are often available in print only format.


Publishing Culture -- The social sciences and humanities tend to cite more slowly, and often cite older research. 



Factors Influencing Citations


Discipline -- "social science and humanities disciplines tend to cite more slowly...Citation metrics should not be compared across disciplines unless this is accounted for..."

Document Type -- "Review papers tend to attract the most citations; case studies tend to attract the fewest citations."

Age of Research Cited -- "Older articles [and older researchers] will have more citations."

Data Source -- The number of citations will vary from one data source to another (i.e. Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar).


Neophytou, J. (2014). How to navigate the world of citation metrics. Wiley Exchanges. Retrieved from

Tools for Locating Citations

Tutorial vectorView this tutorial on the process of doing citation research in Web of Science for additional information.