When Do Citations Reflect "Impact?"

Citation practices vary between and within STM and HSS; they also vary by discipline and within disciplines. Though citation metrics presume evidence of “impact,” in fact a citation may represent a range of intentions. Given the emphasis on citation indices, isn’t it important to query what scholars are actually doing when they cite another scholar’s work?

Why are Authors Citing Older Papers?

Scholars are citing an increasingly aging collection of scholarship. Does this reflect the growing ease with accessing the literature, or a structural shift in the way science is funded–and the way scientists are rewarded?

Why Are Publishers and Editors Wasting Time Formatting Citations?

The majority of time spent in editing and formatting citations in the publication process is time wasted. We now have in place nearly all the components to use persistent identifiers, linked metadata, and style sheets to improve how citations can be structured and processed. Using these tools can significantly improve the accuracy of references and reduce the time editors spend on this production function. Even when automated, we bounce between linked metadata, then to text, then to metadata again.