Most-Cited Anthro Journals

4 thoughts on “Most-Cited Anthro Journals”

  1. I would think that the AAA would be more involved in spreading information about the limitations of the use of standard citation data by tenure committees and the like, since that usage can seriously affect anthropologists in university settings. At my former university, we were required to submit citation data with promotion cases, and we were always having to hem and haw and explain why such data do not work well for anthropology. At my current university, a physical anthropologist tried to change department-level evaluation procedures to include citation data, which set off a spat between subdisciplines.

    So rather than simply reporting the Thomson/Reuters data, perhaps the AAA could generate some text to help out anthropology departments who have to deal with this.

    Scholarly research on this topic has advanced considerably since 1999; here are some more recent sources, current to about 2008 or so.

    Kosmopoulos, Christine and Denise Pumain
    2008 Citation, Citation, Citation: Bibliometrics, the web and the Social Sciences and Humanities. Cybergeo: European Journal of Geography (article 411).

    Kousha, Kayvan and Mike Thelwall
    2007 The Web impact of open access social science research. Library and Information Science Research 29:495-507.

    Leydesdorff, Loet
    2007 Caveats for the Use of Citation Indicators in Resesarch and Journal Evaluations. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 59:278-287.

    Nagaoka, Lisa
    2006 Assessing Publication Impact Through Citation Data. The SAA Archaeological Record 6(2):32-37.

    Nederhof, Anton J.
    2006 Bibliometric monitoring of research performance in the Social Sciences and the Humanities: A Review. Scientometrics 66:81-100.

    Nehlo, L.I. and K. Yang
    n.d. A New Era in Citation and Bibliometric Analyses: Web of Science, Scopus, and Googld Scholar. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology in press.

  2. You raise a good point about the limitations of the ISI Impact Factor, but many librarians and tenure committees still use Impact Factors in making assessments about journals. (Diana Hicks has done a good summary of these limitations in 1999.)

    One metric that uses GoogleScholar is Harzing’s tool. (See: This software produces h-index numbers as follows:
    American Anthropologist: 136
    American Ethnologist: 78
    Cultural Anthropology: 61
    Anthropology & Education Quarterly: 56
    Medical Anthropology Quarterly: 49
    Ethos: 47

    As points of contrast, American J of Physical Anthropology’s h-index is 122 and Current Anthropology’s h-index is 116.

  3. There are many problems with the Thomson/Reuters data, which seriously undercount citations in fields and subdiscipliines that are more humanities- or social science-oriented, in comparison with more science-oriented disciplines. If the AAA wants to look at citation data systematically, it is probably better to use one of the programs that compiles data from Google Scholar.

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