As a traditional indicator for the impact and quality of academic outputs, citation plays an irreplaceable role in the assessment of research papers. Resulting from citation analysis or bibliometric analysis, citation counts quantify the citation usage of academic works, telling how often a work was cited in other works.
On the one hand, with more and more scholarly works published every year, researchers have to be selective when gathering research materials. They must cite other's works when writing their own work. These are the evidences of their own research. On the other hand, if a work is cited by others, it proves that the work is accepted and acknowledged by others. Citations can also help researchers to understand how their researches are reaching the readers, find out the pattern in which their works are used, and add value to their resumes when applying for jobs and grants.
NOTE: Citation count is not the only metric that measures the research impact of a work or a researcher. traditional metrics like h-index, new alternative metrics like online views, downloads and comments are also important when assessing the impact of a work.
Today, in citation databases such as Web of Science and Scopus, h-index can be easily calculated.H-index is the number of articles "h" in a group of publications "N" that have received "h" or more citations. For example, if researcher A has published 20 (N) articles, and 12 (h) of his articles have received 12 (h) or more citations, then his h-index is 12. H-index can also be applied to journals. It is more like a median, which discounts the disproportionate weight of highly cited and uncited papers. But just as a scholarly work takes years to be cited, h-index may appear to be more favorable to older and more experienced researchers.
In Web of Science, you can not only search for references, but also get citation metrics through the database's analysis functionality.
Web of Science provides various search options, among which there are two useful options for finding citations and citation metrics for an individual author or an individual article. These two search options are Author Search and Cited Reference Search. When you get into the core collection (citation indexes) of Web of Science, you can find these options in a dropdown list above the search box.
1. Enter the complete last name and the initials of the first name. Let's take Prof. Yuhui SHI from the Dept. of Electrical and Electronic Engineering for example. There might be name variants or authors with the same name, so you could add a name variant if needed. After you have entered the information, click "Select Research Domain". We do not recommend you to click "Finish Search" so soon at this stage.
2. Select the author's research domains to further limit the results. You may select a broad category or expand the option to select narrower research fields. After that, click "Select Organization" to get more accurate results.
3. Find the author' s affiliation in the list. Here we select "X" and tick "XIAN JIAOTONG LIVERPOOL UNIV", and then click "Finish Search".
4. A record list for the author's published articles will be shown. You can refine the results according to your needs, or find the "Full Text from Publisher" links provided by our university. Most importantly, there are a few analysis options on the right corner of the result list -- "Analyze Results" and "Create Citation Report".
"Analyze Results" will help to get more publishing patterns of the author, e.g., research fields, publishing years, co-authors' countries and organizations, funding information, etc. "Create Citation Report" will generate a citation report of the author, including total citations, h-index, highly-cited articles, citations by year, etc. You will be able to get an overview of the citation metrics.
5. If you would like to view the citation information of an individual article, click the title of that article in the record list. Citation information will be shown on the right of the detailed record page. The column will reflect the times cited, cited reference, citation map, most recent citations and link to a list of articles (in WoS core collection) which have cited the work. You can also set a citation alert so that notifications will be sent when the article gets a new citation.