History and Major Citation Indexing Services
– The earliest known citation index dates back to the 12th century.
– Shepards Citations, published in 1873, was a well-known citation index for legal cases.
– Citation indexes were initially used for tracking science and engineering literature in the 20th century.
– Major citation indexing services include Web of Science by Clarivate Analytics, Scopus by Elsevier, CiteSeer, and Google Scholar.
– Subject-specific citation indexing services include INSPIRE-HEP, PubMed, and Astrophysics Data System.
Representativeness and Limitations of Proprietary Databases
– Clarivate Analytics Web of Science and Elsevier’s Scopus databases are considered authoritative sources of bibliometric data.
– Research output from countries in South America, Asia, and Africa may be underrepresented in these databases.
– Both Web of Science and Scopus are highly selective and predominantly controlled by panels in North America and Western Europe.
– Coverage of journals outside North America and Europe is limited in both databases.
– Scopus covers a fraction of journal publishing outside North America and Europe.
Limitations and Impact of Scopus and Web of Science
– The editorial boards of journals in Scopus and Web of Science are predominantly composed of researchers from Western Europe and North America.
– Subject-specific indexes may reveal geographical and topic bias in citation coverage.
– The under-representation of applied research in Africa, Asia, and South America may impact research strategies and policy development in these regions.
– Citation indexing services like Web of Science and Scopus are widely used for researcher evaluation, institutional impact assessment, and international rankings.
– The research output of countries in South America, Asia, and Africa may be perceived as low based on data from Scopus.
Challenges of English Language Dominance and Epistemic Barriers
– Overpromotion of global databases diminishes the role of local and regional journals.
– English language dominance poses challenges for non-native speakers.
– Non-native speakers spend time and resources on translation and correction.
– Research from South East Asia, Africa, and Latin America is underrepresented in global databases.
– Conscious and unconscious bias exists in North American and European journals.
Efforts to Broaden Database Scope and Discipline- and Region-Specific Repositories
– Clarivate Analytics integrated the SciELO citation index into Web of Science.
– The creation of the Emerging Sources Index (ESI) increased access to international titles.
– Traditional metrics do not capture the dynamics of the global science landscape.
– Discipline- and region-specific preprint repositories like AfricArXiv and InarXiv bridge the gap.
– Open access advocates recommend remaining critical of global research databases built in Europe or North America.
A citation index is a kind of bibliographic index, an index of citations between publications, allowing the user to easily establish which later documents cite which earlier documents. A form of citation index is first found in 12th-century Hebrew religious literature. Legal citation indexes are found in the 18th century and were made popular by citators such as Shepard's Citations (1873). In 1961, Eugene Garfield's Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) introduced the first citation index for papers published in academic journals, first the Science Citation Index (SCI), and later the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) and the Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI). American Chemical Society converted its printed Chemical Abstract Service (established in 1907) into internet-accessible SciFinder in 2008. The first automated citation indexing was done by CiteSeer in 1997 and was patented. Other sources for such data include Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, Elsevier's Scopus, and the National Institutes of Health's iCite.
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