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Citation searching for tenure and promotion: an overview of issues and tools

Janet Dagenais Brown (University Libraries, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 4 February 2014




While the primary importance of citation searching continues to be connecting researchers to highly-related literature, additional uses for the data have developed. For example, academic institutions frequently recommend that faculty include a citation analysis in their tenure and promotion (t & p) dossiers as a way of demonstrating the value of their research. Due to the limited number of tools available for this type of analysis in the past, Librarians were unable to help faculty create an exhaustive accounting of citations to their work. The aim of this paper is to provide examples of the growing number of tools that now exist to assist librarians and faculty in locating citation information for t & p dossiers.


An in-depth survey of both free and subscription resources to identify those that offered options for citation searching was conducted.


Commercial vendors, organizations and researchers are developing a wide variety of tools that help track the impact of a faculty member's research.

Research limitations/implications

The list of resources surveyed is not comprehensive. The research was focused on those available, and most relevant to the author's institution.

Practical implications

Based on the results of this investigation, a web page was created to help direct faculty and librarians to a large number of resources for citation searching (available at:


Librarians have prepared numerous web guides to assist faculty in conducting citation searches. Few offer links to as wide a variety of resources as this research presents.



Dagenais Brown, J. (2014), "Citation searching for tenure and promotion: an overview of issues and tools", Reference Services Review, Vol. 42 No. 1, pp. 70-89.



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