Factors Affecting the Number of Citations: A Mixed Method Study

Journal of Scientometric Research,2022,11,1,1-14.
Published:May 2022
Type:Research Article
Author(s) affiliations:

Faramarz Soheili, Ali Akbar Khasseh, Heidar Mokhtari*, Mozhgan Sadeghi

Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Payame Noor University, Tehran, IRAN.


In this study, factors effective in the number of citations received by papers in Library and Information Science were identified, weighted and analyzed. Using a mixed method research, a content analysis of related literature and Delphi study were designed in the qualitative phase. Items effective in citation counts were included in a reliable-validated questionnaire. Research population in the qualitative phase included 70 academic specialists in Library and Information Science. Of them, 30 and 20 specialists completed the questionnaires in the first and second rounds of the Delphi study. In the quantitative phase, all 1665 Library and Information Science papers published in 2014 in journals indexed in both Web of Science and Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA) were statistically analyzed. A two-rounded Delphi study was used for confirming the components and sub-components at work. A citation analysis was used in the quantitative phase. Five main components with 70 subcomponents were identified in the qualitative phase as ones effective in citation counts in Library and Information Science: field-related features, journal-related features, paper-related features, author-related features, and keyword-related features. In the component of field-related features, the Delphi panel members weighted publisher prestige, the scope of subfields and subjects, research institute / university prestige as three top items. In the component of journal-related features, they regarded indexing in prestigious databases, impact factor, internationality and quartile score as top-ranked items. In the component of paper related features highly-weighted items were accessibility and visibility, access type, language, and the credibility of references. In the component of author-related features, authors’ reputation, their joining scientific social media, their having an online resume and connection of e-mails with publication listings and high h-indices were among highly weighted items. In the component of keyword related features, subject relevance (keyword similarity), topical popularity and the number of keywords were more important. In the quantitative phase, findings showed that the prestige of publisher in the field, journals with high impact factors and quartile scores, and authors with higher h-indices and professional webpages as well as updated publication listings and accurate contact information, long complete papers and including keywords in the title and abstract were significantly correlated with the number of citations. Library and Information Science researchers can integrate the accepted / confirmed items in the qualitative and quantitative phases of this study as a set of criteria for assuming the possible rate of citations a Library and Information Science paper receives.

Factors Affecting the Number of Citations: A Mixed Method Study