21:3 (2006:09) 21st Conference: Crawling Out of the Web: Alternative Citation Sources

August 31, 2006 at 5:43 pm | Posted in Conference Reports, Tactics Sessions | Leave a comment

TACTICS SESSION 

Crawling Out of the Web: Alternative Citation Sources

Deborah Lee, Coordinator of the Library Instructional Services Department, Mississippi State University
Reported by Ellen Barrow 

Citation searching, analysis and sources are of crucial importance to faculty seeking promotion and students conducting research.  The focus of Dr. Deborah Lee’s presentation was exploring the unique nature of citation analysis, various resources used and the pitfalls of citation analysis.   This session was born out of Dr. Lee’s workshops for faculty at Mississippi State University Library.  The faculty was using traditional approaches for citation searching and analysis such as Google Scholar and traditional sources such as the Web of Science.  Dr. Lee stated that citation analysis was a “hot topic” in academia.  Scholars are looking at how ideas are transferred and need to know how to look at citation sources.  Dr. Lee explained the different electronic sources and their value in citation analysis for students and faculty. 

She talked about the Web of Science and how one can examine citation patterns of different fields. Citation alerts can be created and are quite prevalent in citation analysis.  There are other options for citation searches, such as EBSCO and Google Scholar.  EBSCO offers a more esoteric approach to citation analysis rather than a pragmatic one but it is an option.  Google Scholar, on the other hand, offers hefty, but not comprehensive coverage of citations.  Dr. Lee recommended “playing” with advanced search to see what can be accomplished in citation searching. However, Google Scholar offers no name authority and no cataloging.   

In conclusion, “Crawling Out of the Web: Alternative Citation Sources” was an excellent overview of the why and how of citation analysis and its importance to faculty seeking promotion.  Faculty need to collect and analyze their contributions to the knowledge base and research faculty need to seek citations according to their preferences and usage. Citation analysis is just one facet of serials management that is making a strong emergence in the field of academic promotion and research. Citations are the backbone of what makes serials management and access so important.

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