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Bibliometrics & Responsible Research Evaluation: Sources for Tracking Citations

Learn how to track citations to your research and the limitations of using bibliometric indicators

Key Databases for Citation Tracking

What is Scopus?

Scopus is a database for scientific, technical, and medical information, with some limited AHSS content. It indexes over 23,000 journals from over 5,000 publishers, and approx 150,000 books and selected book series.

It can be accessed by UCD staff & students through the Library's subscription.

Caveats & Limitations:

  • Citation counts are not complete. Only citations to and from publications covered by Scopus (approx 23,000 journals, 150,000 books) are tracked.
  • Coverage is more comprehensive for some subjects (sciences, engineering, medicine) than for others (social sciences and humanities).
  • Secondary sources are not covered as part of the Scopus database. They are references cited by the articles that are covered by Scopus and are not included in most counts or analyses.

What is Web of Science?

Web of Science

The Web of Science database comprises the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Science Citation Index Expanded, and extracts the citation information from the articles. It also includes the newer Emerging Sources Citation Index.

Web of Science is only available through UCD Library's paid subscription:

Caveats & Limitations:

A citation search in Web of Science is not a complete citation search:

  • Only citations to and from approx 20,000 source journals are counted. A very limited number of books and conferences are covered.
  • Subjects are not covered evenly by date; e.g. citation data for science journals generally goes back further than arts and social sciences.
  • Some subject areas are poorly covered, particularly across arts and humanities, and the social sciences.

What is Google Scholar?

Google Scholar

Google Scholar consists mainly of scholarly material including journal papers, conference papers, technical reports, theses, pre-prints, post-prints, abstracts and court opinions. Google Scholar also automatically includes scholarly works from Google Book Search.

Google Scholar's strength is the broad scope of content for both types of publications and disciplines. There is also generally better international and non-English language coverage.

Caveats & Limitations:

  • Limited search features & data quality is sometimes poor. Data must be manually cleaned by individuals and therefore cannot usually be benchmarked or compared accurately with others..
  • Variation in how the item is cited can result in duplicate records for the same publication
  • Unknown which sources are indexed and over what time period

Additional Databases for Citation Tracking