Thanks to a heads up from Brian Kelly, I’ve been having a look at the latest improvements to Google Scholar, a search engine for academic papers that served me well whilst writing the Web 2.0 book. The thing that caught my eye was that the site now allows authors to curate a collection of their papers and calculate the number of citations each one has had.
The citation figures for my authorial output follow the classic ‘long tail’ distribution in which one or two papers receive a large or moderately large number of citations and the rest each receive a handful. I was pleased (and a little surprised) to see that the Web 2.0 report I wrote for JISC back in 2006 has received almost 600 citations in the intervening years. I knew that the report had consistently been the most downloaded document on the website (over 100,000 in the first three years), but I’d assumed that a lot of this traffic was due to students preparing course work, particularly as the stats rose during term times. However, it seems researchers have also picked up on some of the ideas, which is rather reassuring as when I was writing the book I had to fight my corner to get a detailed look at the state-of-the-art in research included. Let’s hope this bodes well for sales.