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Research Guides


Citation Analysis

What is citation analysis?

  • Citation analysis examines relationships between scholarly works by looking at citation patterns.

Why use citation analysis?

  • Find out who the most important authors, articles, and journals are on a particular topic.
  • Track the interrelationships between articles, authors and ideas when doing a literature review

Highly Cited Articles

How to find a resource's cited-by information

Each article database is different, but many tend to follow similar patterns in accessing citation information.  Below you'll find some tips on finding this information for some of the more popular databases for political science articles.


  • After searching for a topic, results are displayed by date, with newest results at the top
  • However, you can sort your search results by citation instead:


  • 'Cited by' information is provided for each document, but it is not possible to sort search results by citations

Web of Science (via Web of Knowledge)

  • After searching for a topic, sort results by citation instead of publication date (the default option)
  • Users can also select the 'cited reference search' option at the top of the screen to search for articles that cite someone's work:

Google Scholar

  • 'Cited by' information appears directly below the resource link, and includes journal articles, books, and papers
    • However, Google searches full text, as opposed to title, descriptor, and abstract, so users may find the pulled material is less relevant

By Patricia Bellamy

How Are Journals Ranked?

Impact Factors

  • Assigned rankings of journals based on their level of influence within their field
  • Calculated by measuring the number of articles published in a journal against the number of times articles were cited in a given year
  • Find impact factors in ISI Journal Citation Reports

For more information on journal rankings