Assessment of Highly Cited Articles: A Study of Emerald Journals


  • Aligarh Muslim University, Department of Library and Information Science, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, 202001, India


The main aim of the study was to assess the contents of the highly cited articles of select Emerald LIS journals and to find the reasons behind the high rate of citations and hence their quality. There are a total of 36 journals in the field of Library and Information Science in Emerald Insight database out of which 21 journals are indexed in web of science. The study examines only 8 journals based on the subscription and availability of the archives in the campus so that there is a uniformity in the years assessed. Besides, the present study analyzed only the 30 highly cited articles (of the eight selected journals) using web of science database and assessed the reasons and quality of these highly cited articles on different parameters based on the content analysis of the full texts of the articles. It was revealed that the ‘Library Hi Tech’ journal has the highest number of cited articles and all the selected journals have highest number of cited articles in the year 2015 except the journal ‘Performance Measurement and Metric’. It was also evident that number of highly cited papers are contributed by USA and more importantly produced by single authors. Most of the cited articles are published with social media as subject area and adopted survey method to conduct the study. Further analysis of the results shows that maximum number of the cited papers is without literature review, hypotheses and research questions. They have cited references ranging from 21–30 and have mentioned their findings, discussion and conclusion separately.


Citation Analysis, Emerald Insight, Highly Cited Articles, Library and Information Science, Web of Science

Full Text:


Aksnes, D. W. & Siverten, G. (2004). The effect of highly cited papers on national citation indicators. Scientometrics, 59(2), 213−24. Retrieved March 20, 2019, Available from: B:SCIE.0000018529.58334.eb.pdf, B:SCIE.0000018529.58334.eb.

Aksnes, D. W. (2003). Characteristics of highly cited papers. Research Evaluation, 12(3), 159−70.

Amini, A., Derakhshanfar, H., Dolatabadi, A. A., & Kariman, H. (2012). The differences between highly cited and uncited publications related to substance abuse. International Journal of Medical Investigation, 1(1–11). Retrieved March 23, 2019, admin-A-10-1-7-0ef17ae.pdf.

Clarivate Analytics. (2017). Web of Science Fact Book. Retrieved February 13, 2019, Available from: http:// web-of-science/.

Emerald (2018). About Emerald Insight. Retrieved 10 November, 2018 Available from:

Hamrick, T. A., Fricker, R. D. & Brown, G. G. (2010). Assessing what distinguishes highly cited from less-cited papers published in interfaces. Interfaces, 40(6), 454−64. https://

Ioannidis, J.P., Boyack, K.W., Small, H., Sorensen, A.A. & Klavans, R. (2014). Bibliometrics: Is your most cited work your best?. Nature, 514(7524), 561−62. Retrieved March 22, 2019,!/menu/main/topColumns/topLeftColumn/pdf/514561a.pdf, PMid: 25355346.

Kolle, S. R., Vijayashree, M. S. & Shankarappa, T. H. (2017). Highly cited articles in malaria research: A bibliometric analysis. Collection Building, 36(2). 45−57.

Levitt, J. M. & Thelwall, M. (2009). The most highly cited Library and Information Science articles: Interdisciplinarity, first authors and citation patterns. Scientometrics, 78(1), 45−67.

Moed, H. (2011). Research assessment 101: An introduction. Research Trends. Retrieved February 12, 2019, Available from: research-assessment-101-an-introduction/.

Moed, H. F. (2009). New developments in the use of citation analysis in research evaluation. Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis, 57(1), 13−18. Retrieved March 23, 2019, s00005-009-0001-5.pdf, PMid: 19219533.

Noorhidawati, A., Aspura, M. K. Y. I., Zahila, M. N. & Abrizah, A. (2017). Characteristics of Malaysian highly cited papers. Malaysian Journal of Library and Information Science, 22(2), 85−99.

Peclin, S. & Juznic, P. (2014). Highly cited papers in Slovenia. Teorija in Praksa, 51(5), 972−83. Retrieved March 21, 2019.

Persson, O. (2010). Are highly cited papers more international? Scientometrics, 83, 397−401.

Tijssen, R. J. W., Visser, M. S. & Leeuwen, T. N. V. (2002). Benchmarking international scientific excellence: Are highly cited research papers an appropriate frame of reference? Scientometrics, 54(3), 381−97.


  • There are currently no refbacks.