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Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry Official publication of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 209-210

Citations – A tool for research performance measure

Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Sharad Pawar Dental College, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission23-Sep-2020
Date of Acceptance23-Sep-2020
Date of Web Publication29-Sep-2020

Correspondence Address:
Sudhindra Baliga
Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Sharad Pawar Dental College, Wardha, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-4388.296642

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How to cite this article:
Baliga S. Citations – A tool for research performance measure. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2020;38:209-10

How to cite this URL:
Baliga S. Citations – A tool for research performance measure. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Aug 17];38:209-10. Available from: http://www.jisppd.com/text.asp?2020/38/3/209/296642

Science is a dynamic process. Scientific research involves testing a hypothesis and finding answers to the questions, based on which guidelines can be given or recommendations can be made. With an increasing emphasis on fact finding in the present day, it is mainly through the scientific writings that important outcomes of any experimentation are communicated. For any research, it is very essential and important to give credit to the work as well as to the person who performed research. This indicates academic integrity and for a student it also demonstrates that time has been spent in learning what has been learned, before you put forth your own perspectives.

As the research environment today is intense, the competition for publication space is high. This could be the reason for a greater emphasis being laid on journal impact factor, the factor described by Brown, 2007, to be among the few inventions affecting medical publishing the most as it influences the performance of a journal.[1]

In the preinformation technology era, a method of counting citations was used. Reference to the use of simple citation counting method such as “Gross and Gross” exists.[2] With the evolution of science and technology, the limitations of this type of citation became more evident,[2] and exploitation of an interconnection between information trails for increasing accessibility to previous knowledge was explored. Subsequently, it was Garfield in 1955 who proposed the use of a citation index in his publication which is perhaps the most famous paper in bibliometrics.[3] The citation index was proposed to help in dissemination and retrieval of scientific information. The initially published Science Citation Index was then resorted as the journal citation index. This marked the creation of the journal impact factor in 1963.

Today, with an increasing research awareness, the term “citation analysis” is well known to be associated with the success of any research. Citation counts and journal impact factors are now being used as bibliometric indicators of performance or “impact.” It was Alan Pritchard in 1969, who proposed the term “bibliometrics.” Today, among the bibliometric measures, perhaps the most famous is the h-index.[2] It is a quantitative metric of the number of publications and citations of a scientist and provides his cumulative research impact. The “h” index values for authors are also provided by databases, such as Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. In the Scopus database by Elsevier, a unique feature known as the “citation tracker” aids in making a citation chart for every author. This can be used to generate h-index based on citations and publications from 1970 to current. Web of Science by “Clarivate Analytics” enables getting h-index through the “create citation report” feature. Google Scholar provides h-index for all authors with a registered profile, and for those who do not have a Google Scholar profile, a software-based program known as “publish or perish” can be made use of for generating h-index. The h-index is a metric that corrects the weight of highly cited to those cited less or not cited publications. However, it is not intended for a specific timeframe and is insensitive to frequently cite publications such as reviews or very rarely cited ones such as abstracts. It cannot be considered as a uniform metric; for comparison among authors of different seniority, or disciplines is difficult. According to Hirsch, this can be overcome by using a correction of the h-index for time, the “m” value. It is corrected for career length and is an indicator of scientific quality measuring the successfulness of a scientist.

In this highly competitive world, the use of citation counts and impact factors has proven to be useful in providing research performance measures. Although readers outside the scientific domain may consider the practice of referencing and citations to be a trivial matter and a dispensable nuisance, it in fact is central to any academic institution and principal for the advancement of knowledge. Therefore, references and citations are very important to legitimize contextual sources, the premises on which assumptions are made. They are also of help in making the readers understand that the author has read extensively on what has been already learned and it provides a track for following the author's reasoning. All in all, they provide empirically consistent evidence.

   References Top

Brown H. How impact factors changed medical publishing-and science. BMJ 2007;334:561-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
Smith DR. Impact factors, scientometrics and the history of citation-based research. Scientometrics 2012;92:419-27.  Back to cited text no. 2
Garfield E. Citation indexes for science: A new dimension in documentation through association of ideas. Science 1955;122:108-11.  Back to cited text no. 3


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