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Network Analysis

This guide defines network analysis and discusses several network analysis tools and methods

What is Citation Analysis?

Citation analysis examines the frequency, patterns, and graphs of citations in documents. Citation analysis measures the relative importance or impact of an author, article, or other publication by counting the frequency with which that author, article, or publication has been cited in other works of scholarship. 

Why use citation analysis? 

  • To determine how much impact a particular article has had by showing scholars that have cited it within their own works. 
  • To learn more about a subject area by reading the significant publications in that subject area. 
  • To determine how much impact a scholar has had by looking at their total number of citations. 

Tools for Citation Analysis

The following tools can be utilized to analyze citations. These tools create networks from the analyzed data and many also include commonly used metrics. 

  • Sci2 (Science of Science Tool). A modular toolset specifically designed for the study of science. It supports the temporal, geospatial, topical, and network analysis and visualization of scholarly datasets.
  • VOS Viewer. A software tool for constructing and visualizing bibliometric networks, this software allows users to primarily create node networks and heat maps. It is available as a free download or can be launched directly from their website.
  • CiteNetExplorer. A software tool for citation analysis and visualizations from the Centre of Science and Technology Studies (CWTS). 
  • Local Citation Network. This web-based tool utilizes digital object identifiers (DOIs) to generate like citations and visualizations from cited references in Microsoft Academic and Crossref. 

Further Reading

  • National Institutes of Health, Bibliometrics Training Series (2019). This series provides training on how to perform bibliometrics for research evaluation. It contains 13 individual courses, including network visualization with Gephi, creating co-authorship networks with Sci2, and more. 
  • University of Manchester Library, Introduction to Citation Analysis. This online module discusses what a citation is, how average levels of citation are different in various disciplines, and how percentiles can be used to assess the citation impact of a publication.