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  • 1 Rutgers University School of Communication, Information and Library Studies 08903 New Brunswick NJ (USA) 08903 New Brunswick NJ (USA)
  • 2 Graduate School of Library and Information Science University of California 90024 Los Angeles CA (USA) 90024 Los Angeles CA (USA)
  • 3 OCLC Pacific Network 250 West First St Suite 330 91711 Claremont CA (USA) Suite 330 91711 Claremont CA (USA)
  • 4 University of Southern California Dept. of Computer Science 90089 Los Angeles CA (USA) 90089 Los Angeles CA (USA)
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Abstract  

Citation analysis is a useful method for studying a wide range of topics in bibliometrics and the sociology of science. However, many challenges have been made to the validity and reliability of the underlying assumptions, the data, and the methods used in citation studies. This article addresses these issues in three parts. First is a brief review of validity and reliability issues in citation research. Next we explore measurement error in a principal source of journal-to-journal citation data, the Institute for Scientific Information'sJournal Citation Reports. Possible sources of measurement error include discrepancies between citing and cited data, changed or deleted journal titles, aberrant abbreviations, and listing algorithms. The last section is a detailed description of ways to overcome some of the measurement errors. The data and examples are drawn from a journal-to-journal citation study in the fields of Communication, Information Science, and Library Science.