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Citation Analysis Tools

This guide provides an overview of how to use citation analysis tools.


This guide provides an overview of how to use citation analysis tools to measure the research impact of an author or an article. This guide is also useful to assist you with conducting a preemption check. (For those who are conducting a preemption check, please also see the Preemption Check tab in the Writing Notes and Comments for Journal Members guide, which provides an overview of the various full-text and index databases you may wish to consult to ensure thoroughness.)

This guide includes the following sections:

  • Hein's ScholarCheck
  • Westlaw Citing References
  • Lexis Shepard's Citations
  • Google Scholar Citations
  • Web of Science Citation Reports
  • Scopus Citation Metrics
  • Journal Impact
    • Overview
    • Washington & Lee Law Journals: Submissions and Ranking
    • Journal Citation Reports
    • Scopus CiteScore Metrics
    • Google Scholar Top Publications
    • Scimago Journal & Country Rank
  • Additional Tools & Resources

Note on Screenshots

This libguide makes use of screenshots of select databases. These screenshots may become out of date, as these databases are updated or change. However, navigating too and making use of these tools remains relatively stable. These screenshots will be updated periodically.

Overview of Citations Tools

Citation analysis tools reveal the number of times an article or an author has been cited and identify what other articles and authors are citing to a document. Using citation analysis tools is also a good way to ensure that your literature search has been comprehensive and that you have discovered the leading articles on a topic. 

A citation analysis tool will identify articles that cite Article A. 

Coverage of content in a database is important to note because a citation analysis tool will only identify citations by documents also included in the database. For example, the HeinOnline Law Journal Library contains over 2,400 law and law-related periodicals dating back to their dates of inception. Thus, Hein's ScholarCheck will only identify articles published in this set of law-and law-related periodicals that cite to an article, but will not identify citations by articles from periodicals in other disciplines. Thus, citation counts will vary from tool to tool, so it is advisable to check a few citation tools when measuring research impact.