4.2.2 Searching for citations of chapters in an edited volume

Although journals are the most common sources of publications, the Journal Impact search can also be used to search for publications in other sources. Edited book volumes are a common source in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

Typically a lot of authors will refer to individual chapters within an edited book. Hence, in order to assess the overall impact of this book, one would need to search for citations to individual chapters as well as citations to the book as a whole.

The easiest way to search for citations to the book as a whole is to search for the editor of the book. To find citations of chapters that appear in an edited volume, use the following parameters:

Worked Example: Handbook of organization studies

In 1996 Cynthia Hardy, Stewart Clegg and Walter Nord published the Handbook of Organization Studies. If we want to establish the impact that this handbook has had on the field, we need to be able to accumulate citations to all chapters in this handbook.

When searching for the editors, I found a total of 397 citations to the Handbook as such. As described in Section 3.1.1, this can be done easily by including the three family names in the authors name field. Google Scholar then only provides publications co-written by these three authors.

In addition, searching for the editors displayed another 327 citations spread of 22 separate entries for individual chapters in the handbook (see screenshot below). In these cases, the editors had accidentally been interpreted as chapter co-authors authors by the Google Scholar parsing.

However, the combined number of 724 citations still substantially underestimates the total impact of this book. To see why this is the case, one needs to conduct a systematic search for citations to chapters within the edited volume.

Handbook, 724 results

The screenshot below shows that another 2115 citations can be found when search for citations to individual chapters within the handbook when searching through the procedure described above. Hence, less than 14% of the total number of citations to the Handbook was to the handbook as a whole.

Handbook, 2183 results

It is needless to say that the editors of the Handbook could make a much stronger case for the impact of the Handbook if they conducted a comprehensive citation search as described above. As edited volumes are an important way to publish state-of-the art research in some disciplines, it is very important to be able to conduct a comprehensive citation search for all references to the edited volume.