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Citation analysis

What is citation analysis?

Citation analysis is the process of extracting and analysing information about the citation patterns of specific publications. Such patterns include:

  • how many times a particular publication, author or body has been cited
  • which publications, authors or bodies are citing them 

Example of a citation visualisation from Web of Science

Example of a citation analysis map from Web of Science


The h-index is a better representation of an author or body's productivity and impact than simpler metrics such as publication counts or citation counts. It has become the most commonly used metric for this purpose, but alternatives exist.

An author with an h-index of n has published at least n publications which have each have been cited at least n times. So if your h-index is 7 you've published at least 7 papers that have been cited 7 times or more.

Web of Science, Scopus, Publish or Perish, and ResearcherID all calculate this metric for identified sets of publications. However, the figures retrieved will vary due to the significant differences in coverage of these resources.

Please get in touch with your faculty librarian for assistance with calculating your h-index.

Tools for citation analysis

The following sources of citation data can be used for individual research and institution citation analysis.

Research impact and engagement