Skip to Main Content
Middlesex University LogoMy Subject

Researchers: Citation tracking

Key metrics sources

You can also read more about the measures available on these sources, in the section of this guide called “Bibliometrics tools and Measures

Responsible Metrics Twitter @ResMetrics

The basics

**Please click on any word that is a link, to find out more about it in the accompanying glossary or in a further source of information.**

We know that there are many weaknesses with citation tracking, not least that the data sources (sometimes called a citation index) tend to focus on journal articles, on English language publications, and on the sciences and social sciences.  There will be many research outputs for which citation counts are not available.

Furthermore, citation counts, even when available, are not always valuable indicators. Citation practices vary across disciplines and across scholarly communication channels. There are many different reasons to cite, including to criticise poor quality work and so a high level of citation, even if normalised, does not necessarily mean that an output or journal is of high quality.

Some reasons for citation

  • Paying homage to experts
  • Giving credit to peers
  • Criticising/correcting previous work (own or others)
  • Sign-posting under-noticed work
  • Provide background reading
  • Lend weight to own claims
  • Self citations!

Research support

The Research Support Team is part of Library and Student Support (LSS) in the Sheppard Library.  If you have questions about Open Access, the Research Repositories, Research Data Management or any other scholarly communications issues please do get in touch:

If you have a subject specific question contact your Liaison Librarian.

"Cited by" from CrossRef

Take a look at the metrics for a journal article on PLOS. They display "cited by" data from numerous sources, including CrossRef. Publishers who are members of CrossRef (including Wiley, for example) may display their citation metrics.