Web-Scale Citation Tracking: Survey Results

The Plural of Anecdote Is Not Data :/

Last March, we started a one-question survey in the hope of gathering insights into the websites that the community would like to see included in our citation index:

We’re putting our servers where our mouths are: web-scale citation tracking is on its way! 👏 Please take our one-question survey, let us know which websites you’d like to see included as a priority in Cobaltmetrics.

We received more retweets than responses over the following month and a half. Working with low survey response rates is complex, hence the subtitle of this post, but it also means that we can easily publish the complete data set.

The survey received 20 entries from 13 respondents. The websites that were listed are, sorted by alphabetical order: (drumroll…) cbc.ca, dimensions.ai, eliademy.com, gbif.org, github.com, ipea.gov.br, lareferencia.info, Listserv, medium.com, nytimes.com, opensciencemooc.eu, papers.ssrn.com, portal.fgv.br, portal.fiocruz.br, redalyc.org, scholar.google.com, scienceblogs.com.br, webarchive.org.uk, wikidata.org, and wikipedia.org. Every website was mentioned exactly once.

These 20 entries exemplify various types of content and platforms: blogs, newspapers, newsletters, MOOCs, software repositories, scholarly repositories, institutional websites, etc. That being said, given the sample size, discussing the results any further would be futile.

I’ll just add that seeing Listserv in that list piqued our interest. Listserv is not a website, but a popular software application to manage mailing lists. Last year, we successfully extracted 222 million citations from Usenet archives, so indexing Listserv data could be our next feat of hypertext necromancy.

The survey is now closed, but web-scale citation tracking is still on its way! Please drop us a line if there are websites or databases that you would like to see included in Cobaltmetrics.


Interested in learning more about Cobaltmetrics? Try it out, check out the public API, join our newsletter, and reach out at contact@thunken.com!

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