Quick observations on the citations of a Science “viewpoint” piece

I ran across this piece again just now after having read it when it first came out in 20056:

Foster, I. (2005). Service-Oriented Science. Science, 308(5723), 814-817. doi:10.1126/science.1110411

It's a good piece and quite helpful. Google Scholar says it's been cited 209 times, so that's not terribly surprising. But here are some things that are at least mildly surprising.

The widget that uses the Web of Science api to provide number of citations directly on the HTML page for the article shows that the piece has been cited 23 times. When you click through that to Web of Science - if your institution subscribes to the conference papers and back that far and everything - you'll see that it has actually been cited 88 times. If you re-do the search, selecting only Science Citation Index (journal articles) and not selecting the 3-4 articles with partial or messed up citations - you get 38 (43 if you pick the ones that are messed up but probably refer to the same article and 98 including messed up with conf proceedings).

Also note, that this is probably one of those crazy things that is in the numerator but not in the denominator for the impact factor. (typically research articles are the only things in the denominator for JIF but all citations to the journal do end up in the numerator). So it inflates Science's IF.

Scopus has 116 citations of this piece.

The topic of this piece makes it more attractive to research groups that do a lot more conference publishing than journal article publishing, so that's worth noting. Also note the difference in automated machine matching vs a quick and dirty human match on author name, publication, and year (10 citations different, in one case).

If you just want to chain to find some related articles, any of these is surely sufficient. If you are looking for the broader impact or heaven forefend trying to get credit for an article like this for tenure... eek.

More like this

In scientific publishing, one of the important things is what is known as the "impact factor" which is the the average number of citations a journal receives over a 2 year period. The impact factor is often used by librarians and researchers to determine which journals to purchase and where to…
I've written about journal impact factors before, largely to argue that there are better statistics than the traditional impact factor. But an excellent editorial in the Oct. 10 issue of Science by Kai Simons points out a very obvious problem with how impact factors are used (italics mine):…
John Wilbanks is brilliant - let's just get that down first.  He makes some great points in his most recent posts (1,2), but I also disagree with a few of the things he has said. In my abstract for the upcoming 4S conference, I echoed what Borgman and Bohlin both said, and one of his main points:…
I'm on a sub-sub committee to evaluate evaluation of consideration of adding a new recommender system to our discovery tools across my parent institution's libraries. The system costs money and programmer time (which we're very short on), but more importantly, there's a real estate issue, we…