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Science Research: Using Bibliometrics


Citation counts (or times cited) is an indicator of the article's impact within its discipline. In addition, finding the list of articles that have cited an article can help you identify more related information about your topic, a process called "citation chasing."

*** It is important to remember that measuring the quality of a publication, is a fairly subjective process. Results can vary depending on different factors, thus a single factor is not sufficient for evaluating of an author's work.

Web of Science (WOS) and Scopus provide tools for citation analysis. However, these tools have their own limitations and coverage, and they should be used with caution in evaluating research.

The following examples will show you how to find citation numbers on Web of Science.

Find Citation Counts

Citation Count of a Known Title

How to find the citation counts for "A survey of corporate governance", written by Shleifer, A., and Vishny, RW.?

  1. Go to Web of Science
  2. On the default search page, enter the "Article Title" (i.e. "A survey of corporate governance"), and select Title from the pull-down menu.
  3. Run the search.
  4. The Times Cited number should indicate how many articles indexed in WOS are citing this paper. Perform a Cited Reference Search to include citations to items not indexed within Web of Science (see Cited Reference Search).
  5. Click the Times Cited link will show the information of all 1,500 articles. 

    (Important Notes: WOS does not count citation every journal article published around the world, and access to these records is limited to institution's entitlements subscription.)

Topics Search

In addition to journal-title search, you can perform a search for a specific topic.

  1. Enter your search terms for the topic on WOS. To look for an exact phrase, use quotation marks "...", e.g. Example: "corporate governance" and "stock price". Use Boolean operators (e.g. AND, OR, NOT) if necessary.
  2. Results are sorted by Publication Date by default. Change the sorting from the pull-down menu to fit your needs. You can also refine the results by various options listed in the left-hand column (e.g. Document Types, Research Areas, etc)
  3. Click on the article title to display the full record.
  4. In addition, clicking the Create Citation Report link is another way to display a wealth of useful information including graphs of items published and their citation statistics.
  5. To locate full-text of a particular article, use Find@HKUST

Citation Map

A Citation map is a graphical representation that shows the citation relationships (cited references and citing articles) between a paper and other papers  (Source: Web of Science Help). It allows researchers to visually discover the "citation chasing" relationship of an article.

To create a citation map:

  1. Perform a search in Web of Science
  2. Click on the article title in your result list to access its full record.
  3. Click on the Citation Map button
  4. Select which kind of map you want to see, and then click on the Create button.
    • Select Direction:
      • Forward Only: show records that cite the selected target paper
      • Backward Only: view records that the target record citations.
      • Forward and Backward: show both forward and backward records.
    • Select Depth
      • 1st Generation: records that cite or are cited by the target record are the first generation.
      • 2nd Generation: records citing records that cite the target record and records cited by the targeted record are the second generations.

WOS Online Tutorials

If you need any further assistance on WOS, contact our reference librarian (

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