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.


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Cómo citar

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



Artí­culos de investigación / Research articles