Seeing impact: genres referencing journal articles


  • Diana Hicks Georgia Institute of Technology. School of Public Policy


Palabras clave:

Societal impact, Research impact, Academic literature, Journal articles, Referencing, Citations, Patents, Trade press, Magazines, Twitter, Facebook, Newspapers, Genres, Policies, Overton, PlumX, Citation patterns, Scholarly literature


This paper examines the societal impact of research from the perspective of interconnected genres. Information reaches professionals outside academia through many different types of documents. Those documents often connect with scholarship by referencing academic work, mentioning professors, or publishing articles authored by scholars. Here the pattern of referencing journal articles is compared across professional genres. Such citation counts make visible societal impacts to the extent that a field engages a genre, and different genres favor different fields. Biomedical sciences are most visible in patent citation counts. News and social media most often reference medicine. Policy documents make heavy use of social science. Ulrich´s indexing of trade journals, magazines, and newspapers suggests social sciences engage heavily with the professions through trade press. However, caution is warranted when using citations to indicate societal impact. Engagement with scholarship occurs not only through referencing but also through authorship and mentions. Not all citations indicate substantive engagement, particularly in social media. Academic literature is but one of many types of sources referenced in professional genres. And scholarship engages with many genres beyond those currently indexed, most notably trade press. Nevertheless, understanding citation patterns across heterogeneous professional genres offeres a promising frontier for information sciences to provide a foundation for the analysis of scholarship´s societal impact.


Los datos de descargas todavía no están disponibles.


Begum, Mursheda; Pallari, Elena; Lewison, Grant (2016). "European cancer research: from bench to bedside and to breakfast table". Ecancermedicalscience, v. 10, ed60.

Bogdanich, Walt; McGinty, Jo-Craven (2010). "The radiation boom: radiation worries rise with 3-D dental images". The New York Times, November 23; A1.

Bornmann, Lutz (2015). "Alternative metrics in scientometrics: A meta-analysis of research into three altmetrics". Scientometrics, v. 103, n. 3, pp. 1121144.

Bornmann, Lutz; Haunschild, Robin; Marx, Werner (2016). "Policy documents as sources for measuring societal impact: How often is climate change research mentioned in policy-related documents?". Scientometrics, v. 109, n. 3, pp. 1477-1495.

Desmarais, Bruce A.; Hird, John A. (2014). "Public policy´s bibliography: The use of research in US regulatory impact analyses". Regulation & governance, v. 8, n. 4, pp. 497-510.

Elsevier (2019). Research metrics guidebook. Elsevier B.V.

Grant, Jonathan; Cottrell, Robert; Cluzeau, Franí§oise; Fawcett, Gail (2000). "Evaluating "˜payback´ on biomedical research from papers cited in clinical guidelines: Applied bibliometric study". BMJ, v. 320, n. 7242, pp. 1107-1111.

Hicks, Diana (2004). "The four literatures of social science. Chapter 21". In: Handbook of quantitative science and technology studies. Henk Moed; Wolfgang Glí¤nzel; Ulrich Schmoch (eds.). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, pp. 473-496. ISBN: 978 1 4020 2755 0

Hicks, Diana; Holbrook, J. Britt (2020). "A cartography of philosophy´s engagement with society". Minerva, v. 58, n. 1, pp. 25-45.

Hicks, Diana; Isett, Kimberley; Melkers, Julia (2017). "Evolving dental media: Implications for evidence based dentistry". Journal of evidence-based practice for the dental hygienist, Summer, v. 3, n. 2.

Hicks, Diana; Melkers, Michael; Barna, Julie; Isett, Kimberley R.; Gilbert, Gregg H. (2019). "Comparison of the accuracy of CBCT radiation effective dose information in peer-reviewed journals and dental media". General dentistry, May/June, v. 67, n. 3, pp. 38-46.

Hicks, Diana; Melkers, Julia; Isett, Kimberley R. (2019). "A characterization of professional media and its links to research". Scientometrics, v. 119, pp. 827-843.

Hicks, Diana; Wang, Jian (2013). "The New York Times as a resource for mode 2". Science technology and human values, v. 38, n. 6, pp. 850-876.

Hicks, Diana; Zullo, Matteo; Doshi, Ameet; Asensio, Omar I. (2022). "Widespread use of National Academies report by the American public". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, v. 119 , n. 9, e2107760119.

Kryl, David; Allen, Liz; Dolby, Kevin; Sherbon, Beverley; Viney, Ian (2012). "Tracking the impact of research on policy and practice: Investigating the feasibility of using citations in clinical guidelines for research evaluation". British medical journal open, v. 2, n. 2, e000897.

Lewison, Grant; Sullivan, Richard (2008). "The impact of cancer research: How publications influence UK cancer clinical guidelines". British journal of cancer, v. 98, n. 12, pp. 1944-1950.

Narin, Fran; Hamilton, Kimberley S.; Olivastro, Dominic (1997). "The increasing linkage between US technology and public science". Research policy, v. 26, n. 3, pp. 317-330.

Pinheiro, Henrique; Vignola-Gagné, Etienne; Campbell, David (2021). "A large-scale validation of the relationship between cross-disciplinary research and its uptake in policy-related documents, using the novel Overton altmetrics database". Quantitative science studies, v. 2, n. 2, pp. 616-642.

Priem, Jason; Costello, Kaitlin-Light (2010). "How and why scholars cite on Twitter". Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, v. 47, n. 1.

Robinson-Garcí­a, Nicolás; Costas, Rodrigo; Isett, Kimberley; Melkers, Julia; Hicks, Diana (2017). "The unbearable emptiness of tweeting - About journal articles", PLoS one, v. 12, n. 8, e0183551.

Szomszor, Martin; Adie, Euan (2022). Overton. A bibliometric database of policy document citations. arXiv preprint arXiv:2201.07643.

Thelwall, Mike; Kousha, Kayvan (2016). "Are citations from clinical trials evidence of higher impact research? An analysis of". Scientometrics, v. 109, n. 2, pp. 1341-1351.

Thelwall, Mike; Kousha, Kayvan; Abdoli, Mahshid (2017). "Is medical research informing professional practice more highly cited? Evidence from AHFS DI Essentials in". Scientometrics, v. 112, n. 1, pp. 509-527.

Thelwall, Mike; Maflahi, Nabeil (2016). "Guideline references and academic citations as evidence of the clinical value of health research". Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, v. 67, n. 4, pp. 960-966.

Vilkins, Samantha; Grant, Will J. (2017). "Types of evidence cited in Australian Government publications". Scientometrics, v. 113, n. 3, pp. 1681-1695.



Cómo citar

Hicks, D. (2023). Seeing impact: genres referencing journal articles. Profesional De La información Information Professional, 32(2).



Artí­culos de investigación / Research articles