Personal Citation Index

Garfield, Eugene Garfield at CODEX.CIS.UPENN.EDU
Sat Dec 1 14:35:49 EST 2001

Dear Judit: Let us assume that your example is typical for Informetrics,
even though your definition of this literature is rather restricted. I don't
think I have ever used this word in the title of one of my papers but I
surely feel that I have written a lot in this field.

What I am referring to, however, is whether this limited sample tells us
anything about, e.g  biochemistry, economics or any of the other
disciplines.? In the field of Genomics is may turn out that web citations
outnumber formal published citations, but their relative value for
literature search needs to be investigated. For example, the two recently
published hot papers on the sequencing of the human genome produced two
citation classics in less than one year--papers by Venter in Science and
Landers in Nature. Each was cited over 350 times in the journal literature.

Perhaps you or someone else wishes to investigate how often those same cited
papers turn up in web references, but the outcome will still not give us a
complete answer on what is happening for the typical research paper.

The www presents us with many new opportunities for research but we have a
long way to go before we can make any valid statements about the percentages
of web versus paper citations.  Best wishes. Gene Garfield

Eugene Garfield, PhD.
Past President, American Society for Information Science and Technology
Chairman Emeritus, ISI
Publisher, The Scientist
email garfield at
tel 215-243-2205
fax 215-387-1266
home page:

-----Original Message-----
From: Judit Bar Ilan [mailto:judit at CC.HUJI.AC.IL]
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2001 7:29 AM
Subject: Re: [SIGMETRICS] Personal Citation Index

Ronald Rousseau's numbers are not based on anecdotal evidence only. Although
I was not looking for personal citations, I conducted a rather exhaustive
search for "informetrics" in 1998.
(The results are published in JASIS, 51(5) - The Web as an information
source on informetrics? A content analysis).

>From the collected pages I extracted 259 distinct references (to journal
papers, papers in proceedings and to presentations in conferences). Since
most of the references in the Web appeared without abstract (or full text),
for 229 references, the term "informetrics" either appeared in the title
(75) or in the name of the publication (154).

These references were compared to data retrieved from commercial
bibliographic databases: the largest number of items with informetrics in
the title was retrieved from LISA (46 vs 76), and the largest number of
items retrieved with informetrics in the name of the publication was
retrieved from OCLC's PaperFirst Database (118 vs 184). These numbers seem
to support Ronald Rousseau's 50% assumption.

Judit Bar-Ilan

At 12:03 27/11/2001 -0500, you wrote:

Dear friends: I did not see this message when I responded a few minutes ago
to Michel Menou and see that our good friend Ron Rousseau is the one who has
made the assumption about 50%.  I can see that this is a wild guess based
upon some anecdotal perception of how much literature is covered by
traditional abstracting and indexing services and what "may" appear in the
non-indexed literature and in web sites.

Since my valiant assistant traces references to my name on web sites I
receive a list every week or two of about a dozen sites. Most of these are
not true citations but rather mentions of my name for one reason or another
as e.g. in a course listing.

I agree with Ron and the others that it would be important for each
individual to be aware of who is using their work, but don't get your hopes
up too high. Gene

When responding, please attach my original message
Eugene Garfield, Ph.D.  E-mail: garfield at
 Telephone:  (215)243-2205   Fax: (215)387-1266
 Web site: <>
Past President, American Society for Information Science & Technology
(ASIS&T) - <>
Chairman Emeritus,Institute for Scientific Information ( ISI),
 3501 Market St , Philadelphia, PA 19104-3389,
Pres.,Ed.-in-Chief,  The Scientist,
 3535 Market St , Philadelphia, PA 19104-3385,

Judit Bar-Ilan
School of Library, Archive and Information Studies
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Room 208, Levy Building, Givat Ram
P.O. Box 1255, Jerusalem, 90904 Israel
Tel: 972-2-6584663  Fax: 972-2-6585707
email: judit at

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