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Open Citation Databases: home

The future of scholarly references is open


"Citations are the links that knit together our scientific and cultural knowledge. They are primary data that provide both provenance and an explanation for how we know facts. They allow us to attribute and credit scientific contributions, and they enable the evaluation of research and its impacts. In sum, citations are the most important vehicle for the discovery, dissemination, and evaluation of all scholarly knowledge.

As the number of scholarly publications is estimated to double every nine years, citations – and the computational systems that track them – enable researchers and the public to keep abreast of significant developments in any given field. For this to be possible, it is essential to have unrestricted access to bibliographic and citation data in machine-readable form."

Initiative for Open Citations I4OC,. (n.d.). Initiative for Open Citations: Goals. I4OC.

Citation data has largely been a propriety resource, with libraries spending tens of thousands of dollars to acquire research databases to provide access to scholarly work.  However, this model is changing, and under the larger auspices of the open science movement, there is a call for bibliographic references to be freely available.  Below are some interesting and cutting edge open citation databases. These open platforms not only provide access to scholarly publications but allow for visualization of the research within citation networks etc.

Read more about the Open Science / Open Citation Movement

1. Hutchins BI, Baker KL, Davis MT, et al. The NIH Open Citation Collection: A public access, broad coverage resource. PLOS Biology. 2019;17(10):e3000385. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.3000385

2. Martín-Martín A, Thelwall M, Orduna-Malea E, López-Cózar ED. Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, Scopus, Dimensions, Web of Science, and OpenCitations’ COCI: a multidisciplinary comparison of coverage via citations. Scientometrics. Published online September 21, 2020. doi:10.1007/s11192-020-03690-4

3.McDannell KT. Make supplementary reference lists visible for citation metrics. Nature. 2018;555(7696):311. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-02965-4

4. Peroni S, Shotton D. OpenCitations, an infrastructure organization for open scholarship. Quantitative Science Studies. 2020;1(1):428-444. doi:10.1162/qss_a_00023

5. Shotton D. Funders should mandate open citations. Nature. 2018;553(7687):129-129. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-00104-7

6. The rise of the “open” discovery indexes?, Semantic Scholar and Scinapse. Accessed October 11, 2021.

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