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Citation classics published in Knowledge Management journals. Part II: studying research trends and discovering the Google Scholar Effect

Alexander Serenko (Faculty of Business Administration, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Canada)
John Dumay (Department of Accounting, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 12 October 2015




The purpose of this study was to discover growing, stable and declining knowledge management (KM) research trends.


Citations to 100 KM citation classics as identified by Serenko and Dumay (2015) were collected and analyzed for growing, stable and declining research trends.


This research has two findings that were not theoretically expected. First, a majority of KM citation classics exhibit a bimodal citation distribution peak. Second, there are a growing number of citations for all research topics. These unexpected findings warranted further theoretical elaboration and empirical investigation. The analysis of erroneous citations and a five-year citation trend (2009 – 2013) reveals that the continuously growing volume of citations may result from what the authors call the Google Scholar Effect.

Research limitations/implications

The results from this study open up two significant research opportunities. First, more research is needed to understand the impact Google Scholar is having on domains beyond KM. Second, more comprehensive research on the impact of erroneous citations is required because these have the most potential for damaging academic discourse and reputation.

Practical implications

Researchers need to be aware of how technology is changing their profession and their citation behavior because of the pressure from the contemporary “publish or perish” environment, which prevents research from being state-of-the-art. Similarly, KM reviewers and editors need to be more aware of the pressure and prevalence of mis-citations and take action to raise awareness and to prevent mis-citations.


This study is important from a scientometric research perspective as part of a growing research field using Google Scholar to measure the impact and power it has in influencing what gets cited and by whom.



Serenko, A. and Dumay, J. (2015), "Citation classics published in Knowledge Management journals. Part II: studying research trends and discovering the Google Scholar Effect", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 19 No. 6, pp. 1335-1355.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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