How to collect ISI citation statistics

1. Go to the ISI Web of Knowledge site.

2. Select Web of Science, and once there, click the General Search button.

Note: The General Search page allows you to use a number of search fields / selection criteria for the database search. They are: Topic, Author, Group Author, Source Title, Publication Year and Address. Each Search Field is accompanied by an example of an appropriate search string and by an information button leading to more examples and suggestions.

It’s worth knowing, that ISI collects citations electronically, with minimal manual correction. ISI states, “all author names provided by the source publication are included in database records, and they are searchable. A source author name consists of a surname (last name) and up to five initials.”

3. Type your “name” as a search string in the Author field by entering your last name, followed by a space followed by your first initial and an asterisk, like Smith P* (Note: the * wildcard is added instead of extra initials as some journals might have shortened your full initials in the reference lists).

There are, however, a few things to consider:

  • If you have only one initial, omit the asterisk wildcard.

  • If your surname consists of a number of parts, set up a search string of two names (separated by the search operator OR), one with and one without a space between each part, like ‘de Bruyn A* OR deBruyn A*’ (if this search string does not reveal all your publications, extend the search string by adding ‘ OR Bruyn A*’).

  • Surnames containing an apostrophe or a hyphen should be searched with and without the apostrophe or hyphen, like O'Hara M* OR OHara M*.

Note: Beginning with 1998 data, non-alphanumeric characters (e.g., the apostrophe in O'Brian) and embedded spaces (e.g., the spaces in the last name ‘de la Rosa’) are preserved in many fields in the ISI database. In order to search effectively across multiple years of data, you should be sure to enter search strings that take account of all possible variations of the author names.

  • Accent marks are not stored and therefore not searchable. Search for variants of names in English standard letters. The name Schröder may appear in the database as Schroder or Schroeder. Search for both variants, like Schroder P* OR Schroeder P*.

  • Asian names appear in the database exactly as they do in the source document. The author Zhuang Jun may appear in the database as Zhuang J, Zhang J, or Jun Z. It is advisable to search for all variations of Asian names, like Zhuang J* OR Zhang J* OR Jun Z*.

Note: If you have a commonly occurring name, you will have to restrict the search further, by for example including the institution, (before executing it) to get a practical return of selected publications.

4. Type your work address(es) in the Address field.

If you have been working at JCU for your total research career, it is sufficient to add James Cook * in the Address field (ISI ‘knows’ JCU under two names). If you have worked at other institutions, look up the ISI string for the name in the online help section of the Web of Science, and add each name (using the OR separator) to the search string. NB: If you’ve so far only worked in Australia, type simply the word Australia in the Address field.

5. Click Search

6. Set the Search Results screen to show 50 records per page.

7. After a screen refresh, go to the right side of the screen and Select all Records on the Page.

Note: If the search result contains more publications than just ones you have (co-) authored, either unselect unwanted publications or go back to the General Search page and restrict your search strings further.

8. Add the selected records to a Marked List.

Note: If you have co-authored more than 50 publications, go to the next screen, select all records on this page and add them to your Marked List.

9. Go to the page that will show your Marked List, via the similarly named button at the top of the screen.

10. In the output variables, click (as additional information) Times cited, Document type and ISSN.

11. Select “Tab delimited file” from the drop down list.

12. Save the txt file to your PC’s desktop.

13. Minimize the web browser window.

a) On your computer, open the Microsoft Excel program.

b) Open the savedrec.txt file you just saved on the Desktop, by selecting Text Files (*.prn; *.txt; *.csv) for Files of Type and click the Desktop icon.

c) Excel will prompt you to import the text file by starting a wizard; simply confirm that the file is in “delimited format”.

d) Expand the columns of interest in the spreadsheet.

e) Click anywhere in the table.

f) Sort the Excel table by the header DT (=Document Type).

g) Check again if all these are your publications.

h) Sum and Count citations for only those document types that indicate a proper publication.

Note: The number of "times cited" is often slightly incorrect because this simple method of searching does not find variant citations which contain small errors, in other words, the same article may sometimes be referenced differently. These errors are often due to an article's volume, page, or year being cited incorrectly by the citing author.

The only way to be sure that most of these variant citations are captured in the total citation count is to perform a Cited Reference Search on the first author of each of your publications.

14. Go to the Welcome Page of the Web of Science

15. Click the Cited Ref Search button.

16. Type your “name” in the Author field using the same search string as before in the General Search.

17. Click Search

18. a) Print the web browser screen or screens (if you can - for readability - on A3) OR

b) select the displayed table in the browser screen (by dragging the mouse), press Ctrl-C and paste the table (Ctrl-V) in another sheet of the Excel workbook [this pasting task usually takes a while]- skip step 19.

19. Bring Excel to the foreground and add the variant citations manually in an extra column to the active spreadsheet based on the General Search.

20. For co-authored publications where you are not the first author, re-do the Cited Reference Search for each of the first authors and write down to total number of citations for those publications you have co-authored. You might want to restrict the years, but do not restrict the years to just the publication year, as it is often the publication year that contains the error.

If each result from the original General Search is cross-checked in a Cited Reference Search, quite a few citations should be higher than the “times cited” shown in the General Search. Generally the difference is only one or two citations per publication, but sometimes it can be four to ten.

The Cited Reference Search will also find citations in ISI journals to so-called non-source publications like papers in conference proceedings, books and theses.