Personal Citation Index and ASCA (fwd)

Garfield, Eugene Garfield at CODEX.CIS.UPENN.EDU
Mon Dec 3 14:59:11 EST 2001

I am delighted to have this clarification. Alas in my personal experience it
is a constant source of amazement how many users are not aware of these
capabilities. Indeed, teaching certain classes of users to use the Personal
Alert is problematic in that some of them interpret such a service as
catering to their vanity, which completely misses the point. Its main use is
to learn about work that might otherwise be missed. Naturally, as authors
most of us like to see our work cited, but in my case I find it exciting to
learn about connections that I would otherwise miss. Even in my page by page
scanning of certain journals I may miss such connections.

  ISI is well aware that WOS does not and cannot cover everything. I believe
that is implied by their recent announcements about connections to BIOSIS,
INSPEC and other data bases. Best wishes. Gene Garfield

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,

-----Original Message-----
From: Gretchen Whitney [mailto:gwhitney at UTK.EDU]
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2001 1:51 PM
Subject: [SIGMETRICS] Personal Citiation Index and ASCA (fwd)

Forwarded on behalf of Bernie Sloan  --gw
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 03 Dec 2001 10:13:56 -0600
From: "Sloan, Bernie" <bernies at>


You said:

> As regards the Personal Citation Index I am somewhat dumbfounded.
> Perhaps whoever suggested that excellent idea has never heard of the
> Personal Citation Alert that ISI has been providing commercially for 35
> years. Every week I receive a list of the papers covered in ISI that cite
> my work, among others.

As the person who "suggested that excellent idea" I thought I'd make a
clarification or two.

I've had a business relationship with ISI since 1993. I've also been a
Current Contents user since then, and began using Web of Science when it
became available. I am aware of the Personal Citation Alert function.

I started working on my personal citiation index largely because I was aware
of the products and services offered through ISI. I knew that the scope of
coverage of the ISI indices was narrower than what I was attempting to do.
This is not a criticism of ISI. I wanted to explore what one might call the
"undiscovered influence of ideas", and this included some rather grey areas,
e.g., resources that wouldn't necessarily be classified as "scholarly". I
also wanted to include resources that one wouldn't expect to be covered by
the ISI indices, e.g., course syllabi, conference papers, certain
international resources, etc.  And I have consciously chosen not to limit
the entries in my personal citation index solely to citations from scholarly
works. As the LIS field has a strong practitioner-oriented component, I am
also interested in studying the influence of my papers on LIS professionals.

In other words, the Personal Citiation Alert is a very nice feature, and the
ISI indices are very helpful to me. But ISI is just one of many tools I need
to use to cover the broader scope of my project.


Bernie Sloan
Senior Library Information Systems Consultant
University of Illinois Office for Planning and Budgeting
338 Henry Administration Building
506 S. Wright Street
Urbana, IL  61801
Phone: (217) 333-4895
Fax:     (217) 265-0454
E-mail: bernies at

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