Google Scholar: Citation years

Publish or Perish tutorial

Many Publish or Perish users would like to know how many citations they received in say the last year or the last five years and expect the year limitations in Publish or Perish to achieve this.

The problem?

  • For instance: You have just done a search (any search) with specific start and end years, for example from 2007 to 2011. However, the results do not show "5 years active" as you expected, but "10 years active" (if the search is done in 2016). What's going on?
  • Answer: The search period (2007 to 2011 in the example) restricts the original publications. It does not restrict the citations.

Citations are always shown until the present day

Regardless of the start and end years in your query, the results will always show the citations until the present day, give or take a few weeks. And because Publish or Perish shows citation statistics, we must count all years from the start year until the present day.

Classifying citing works by year

Theoretically, you could review all citations to your work and classify them by year. However, this would require many additional queries to Google Scholar, which will likely lead to very slow searches and CAPTCHAs.

The alternative: use Google Scholar Citations

If you have created a Google Scholar Citations profile you can get a nice graph indicating your citations over the years (see below). From Publish or Perish version 5 onwards, you can also use a Google Scholar Profile search in Publish or Perish.


Support Publish or Perish

The development of the Publish or Perish software is a volunteering effort that has been ongoing since 2006. Download and use of Publish or Perish is and will remain free (gratis), but your support toward the costs of hosting, bandwidth, and software development are appreciated. Your support helps further development of Publish or Perish for new data sources and additional features.


PS: If you are using Publish or Perish on a regular basis, please take 5 minutes to provide me with some feedback.