Citations Alert!

Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 19:14:54

Life as an academic is often described as “publish or perish.” And to a certain extent this is true, with the mantra that you are only as good as your last paper. And one of the measures as to the “quality” of a paper is how many times it has been cited by others (although clearly you could have a completely rubbish paper and it is cited for this reason!!). Working out who cites your paper is clearly a virtually impossible task given the vast quality of material that is published every year. hence Thomson Scientific, the people who have a stranglehold on the citation listing market and produce journal stats such as impact factors, archive all journal articles and their references (for the the “A-list” of journals they maintain). This then allows them to work out who cites whom. Couple this to a web interface, search for your own article and you then get a list of everyone that cites it. Whats even more useful is that, if you are registered, you can set up citation alerts which are emailed out to you, as well as RSS feeds to monitor if you so wish. Of course your university needs a subscription to Web of Knowledge to take advantage of this, but it really is a valuable service.

And my top article, with 13 citations, is:

Smith, M.J. and Clark, C.D. (2005) “Methods for the visualization of digital elevation models for landform mapping.” Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 30, 7, 885-900.

Not sure if that is good or bad, but at least its higher than zero which means someone must be reading it!!

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