Researchers
June 23, 2020

Using Citation Indicators to Understand Scholarly Impact

Academic impact is determined based on many factors, but one of the main elements used today is the citation. Citation indicators are considered a consistent way to reflect an article’s level of research quality and relevance, although both of these characteristics have a measure of qualitative attributes to them. With citation indicators, a quantitative application is attempted to be placed on the article, and this type of performance evaluation has its advantages and disadvantages, making it a continually debated and evolving topic.

Researchers strive to compile work and evidence that creates an impact to the academic world or society in general. This level of impact is qualitative, but it requires many quantitative factors to reach the final determination that, yes, a specific research project made a scholarly impact. As important as this designation is, it’s essential that a framework is in place to ensure consistency of standards throughout the world.

Traditional methods of determining impact in history have included peer reviews and journal publication approval. With the Digital Era bringing in the ability to track data far beyond what we can see immediately, bibliometrics has adjusted how the impact of an article is judged. Now, metrics like citation indicators are used to understand scholarly impact.

Citation Indicators and Other Altmetrics

The use of citation indicators and other almetrics is an evolving science, making it a debated topic because there are different methods that can be used. To calculate citation indicators, for instance, it would depend on which impact indicator one would use. From there, the variables include how the publication that created the citation indicator total handled the data collection procedures, how much coverage their database had throughout the readership audience around the world, and the quality of their data’s reputability.

Typical citation indicators include metrics like:

●      How many times your paper was highly cited in proportion to the readership as a percentage o

●      The field-normalized citation impact factor which is the average number of citations in each publication, taking into account the normalized number for each field, year, and type of submission

●      The h-index, which is a formula that is used to determine the citation count based on quantitative data obtained of the submission

As long as the citation measure used is transparent, it’s possible to use these numbers to understand scholarly impact better.

Challenges of Using Citation Measures to Judge Impact

The debate rallies on as to whether using citation measures to judge impact is truly an accurate representation of the quality of the author’s work. One of these arguments is that part of a paper’s ability to be highly cited is in the peer evaluation, which is not consistent across the board, either. When citation indicators are taken into account along with peer reviews, it’s possible to get a better comparison.

Second, citation measures are becoming part of how a submission is evaluated, meaning it is separate and distinct from the peer evaluation process. When citation indicators are used to judge quality, it’s often basing the determination quantitative measures that have not taken any qualitative measures into account, including the choice of citation methods that were used. It’s a solely numerical decision not including factors that should be used to determine quality.

Benefits of Using Citation Measures to Judge Impact

Since these measures are being used widely, there must be some benefits that outweigh the drawbacks, and there are. By focusing on the importance of citation in work, it gives the reader and the author many important and distinct advantages, like:

●      Providing a legitimate source of information to the reader and giving them the confidence that the work is relevant and credible

●      Providing a source trace of how many researchers have used the article for their ideas

●      Showing readers where other ideas that were obtained from another author were found

●      Giving a quick and easy method to make updates to previous articles or to add critiquing

●      Securing a perspective on a claim or argument by backing it up with other citations from other authors

●      Showcasing multiple different opinions to be able to validate the argument at hand

●      Increasing author credibility and scholarly impact potential

●      Avoiding accusations of plagiarism

Since citations are already being pushed so consistently for these reasons and more, it makes sense to use them as at least a partial way to judge scholarly impact.

Following Your Citation Indicators With Impactio

Whether you agree with them or not, citation indicators are an important part of getting the designation of scholarly impact for your submission. But how do you know how well your article is doing in this field once you’ve published it? The answer is Impactio.

Impactio is an all-in-one platform where expert scholars can do everything from publishing their work to following its impact through citations once it’s been released. Impactio keeps track of all your citation indicators so you can pull up any report you want and see up-to-date, relevant details about the impact your work is making.

When you want to submit professional quality work easily, follow your citation impact, and connect with other experts in the community, Impactio is the trusted source for you.

Tags Academic Impact Citations Citation Indicators
Jason Collins
Writer
Jason is a writer for many niche brands with experience “bringing stories to life” for both startups and corporate partners.

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