Author: Rafael Repiso – Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

The citation has been associated from the very beginning with the quality of the works, since it is a hypertextual element that comes from a recognition of authority that the author of a work makes to other previous works. In referencing a previous work, it is recognized that it has helped to make up a new work (we are not going to go into whether there are positive or critical citations, because both are stimuli for creation). An example of the importance of the citation in the world of communication and scientific evaluation is that most of the bibliometric indicators that aim to measure the scientific impact (Impact Factor, H Index, Crown Indicator …) have the citation as a main element. Another example of the importance of the citation is that many scientific search engines, where Google Scholar should be highlighted, order the results according to the number of citations.

Therefore, citations are one of the most recurrent formal elements to try to discern the impact of a work and together with scientific production it allows us to study the generation of knowledge by authors, journals, institutions, etc. Let’s think that the databases used to study and evaluate science (Web of Science, Scopus, Dimensions …) are bibliographic databases that do not have full-text documents, but rather record their main descriptive elements (title, authors , theme, etc.) and include as an essential value a clearing of the references of the works with which they produce their impact, repercussion and similarity indicators.

In addition, in front of the new elements that are emerging to analyze the quality of the work (altmetrics, social networks, views, downloads, etc.), the registration of citations is especially solid because it involves, in the first place, the creation of a new work and that this is published, therefore, part of a much more complex and rigorous action than publishing a tweet and this entails greater meaning and complexity to be manipulated. Therefore, citation is the benchmark indicator for evaluating the quality of scientific papers and journals. While others read the future in the coffee grounds, in Bibliometrics the future is read in the articles grounds, in the analysis of their bibliography.

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