Nowadays, the mere publication of research is not enough to make a mark in academia. In the academic world, your reputation as a scientist depends on the quality and quantity of your publications and how many times it has been cited.
Citation causes the reputation of scientists who made a discovery and were the first to publish it. Therefore, the number of researchers who cite your work in their publications can help evaluate your academic performance. This shows that your fellow researchers can count on your findings and that your research has been useful in your field. Reports such as the list of highly cited researchers published by the Web of Science create competition in academia. However, the coin has two sides, and so does the competition for citations in academia.
The Web of Science compiles and publishes a list of highly cited researchers. This citation database indexes the content of each piece of research and provides a powerful search engine for the world’s scientific information. With this information, they have been able to publish annual reports that rank scientific information. This credible list identifies the world’s top researchers whose citation records rank highly in the top 1% citations in their field of work in the Web of Science database. Being on the list of highly cited researchers means that you are a successful and influential researcher – what an honor!
Do researchers manipulate citations?
Unfortunately, the need for citations has led to an increase in citation manipulation. This is because research is highly competitive. Researchers compete for publication in more reputable journals to have better funding chances. Finally, it can be said that a high number of citations indicates success in terms of your academic performance. The more citations you make to your work, the more successful you will be in your academic career. To reduce the number of such scenarios, let us look at how we can find highly cited research.
Citations in Google Scholar
For example, you are a researcher at the beginning of your career, and your university prefers the Web of Science as a data source. However, you only have a few citations in the Web of Science, while the number of citations to your work in Google Scholar is respectable. In such cases, it may be argued that Google Scholar citations are a more accurate measure of the impact of citations for young researchers. This is true since Google Scholar includes citations to master’s and doctoral dissertations, conference papers, and working papers. In most cases, these works will eventually be reflected in Web of Science citations. Google Scholar also includes books, chapters, and a wider range of journals than Web of Science, especially in the social sciences and humanities.
In some cases, articles do not get enough citations, even in Google Scholar. This is especially the case for the social sciences and humanities, where the publishing process is generally longer and includes longer review and publication times even, for accepted publications.